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3 Easy Tips for Being a Better Communicator

Communication is key for success at work no matter what your position, but especially if you are a leader. In today's busy world, we are all overloaded with information, and it is hard to get other's attention. People are consuming content and communication quickly. In fact, it has been said that humans' attention spans are now less than that of a goldfish (goldfish 8 seconds, human 7 seconds). You have to get their attention quickly, or they have moved on to something else.

Here Are 3 Easy Tips to Elevate Your Communication

#1 Keep it short and simple.

  • K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) K.I.S.S. is a good guideline to use when it comes to being clear in your communication. Long, complicated messages with big words can be hard to understand, so try to replace long words and sentences with shorter ones. Keep your messages as clear, simple, and straightforward as possible. You don’t have to use big, fancy words to show how smart you are. Keep it at a level that everyone can understand.

  • Watch the acronyms and corporate jargon! Businesses seem to love acronyms, and some people, particularly new employees, often don’t know what they mean and are afraid to ask. Corporate jargon includes using words or phrases like deep dive, bandwidth, synergy, blue sky thinking, ducks in a row, and low-hanging fruit. In a recent study from LinkedIn, almost half of Gen Z and Millennial workers reported that workplace jargon is confusing and is making them feel left out.

  • Keep emails and other written communications short and to-the-point. Don't even get me started on emails! If you send a 2-page email, I can assure you that no one is going to read it. Keep your written communications short, use headers and bullets, and eliminate unnecessary words and phrases.


#2 Overcommunicate.

  • Did you know that people typically need to hear something 7 times before it sticks? Do you know what that means? You need to do what probably feels like overcommunication! In his book, The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni said that one of the roles of the leader is to be the Chief Reminding Officer.

  • It may feel awkward to relay the same message multiple times, but it’s necessary for it to take root and for employees to understand that it’s important. Also, keep in mind that it’s good to use different mediums as what works for one employee won’t work for all.

#3 Listen!

  • I just posted on this topic so won't go into much detail, but I believe that listening is the most important communication skill. Being a good listener will improve your ability to influence others and help in avoiding conflict and misunderstandings. In addition, it validates the other person and makes them feel valued.

Communicate Well is one of the 7 Habits of High-Retention Managers

This is an excerpt from 10 tips to communicate well in my book, coming in March!

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