Slow Down to Communicate Effectively

Today, the world is fast! You might even skip reading this post because you think you don’t have the time. But, I’d implore you to slow down a second and take in a perspective you might have been running too fast to have considered.

Given the pace of business where we don’t even take the time to create business plans in narrative form because it’s quicker to craft a PowerPoint than spell out fully formed thoughts, it’s tempting to communicate with each other in that same rapid fire manner.

In part, those useful smart phones that ensure we are always on call make for a triage style of emailing and texting that has seeped into the proper workday to decrease the effectiveness of our written communication.  How many times have you found yourself—with colleagues and close clients—shooting off an email like you’re lobbing a missile from a rocket?

Here’s the scenario: They send an email with a list of questions. You read the first line and fire back “Yes.” They then send you six more emails to uncover answers to the rest of their questions and figure out the context of your “yes”.

Stop. No, literally stop. Think. And, then communicate.

Taking time for purposeful, informative communication means you accomplish more, more effectively and with less frustration (for you and those you communicate with). So an email took you 15 minutes to draft as opposed to five. You’ll have saved 45 minutes in back and forth emails—and probably a call— the 5-minute version of your missive would have caused.

Obviously I’m not advocating everything about your work life drip like molasses on a brisk Fall day. Just certain things. Craft actionable, purposeful emails with full, well-written sentences. Form powerful, understandable objectives that people can grasp and want to get behind. Create a solid roadmap with specific steps to achieve those directives. Give thoughtful feedback.


Now, in the interest of your having more time to slow down and communicate effectively, consider this post wrapped.

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