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Many clients consider themselves to be crystal clear in their communication with their Great Catch. But, as you know, if they truly want to know how understandable they are, your client should consider taking a clarity inventory. Here are steps that you can tell your client to take to improve their clarity and communication:
Ask for feedback on how clear you really are from two sources: the members of your immediate family and your coworkers. Usually, these members of your inner circle are the most likely people in the world to understand what you are trying to say.
You need only concern yourself with taking a clarity inventory if you seriously want to improve your negotiating skills. This topic is too sensitive and carries too much of a risk for hurt feelings to bother with unless you are serious in your desire to become a top-notch communicator.
If, indeed, you want to build a real edge into your negotiations, sit down quietly with someone you trust. Tell that person that you are trying to improve your ability to communicate clearly. Ask for suggestions. Then listen. Dont correct, defend yourself, or explain.
Your goal is not to instruct the other person on how to understand you better. Your goal is to find out how to communicate better with this individual and with the other people in your life. Even if you believe that the entire communication problem is with the other person, dont let on.
Take notes when people give you feedback. The effort flatters them and gives you something to do, rather than tell them they are wrong. Hearing how unclear you are is difficult. It hurts. You learn you fail far more often than you ever dreamed. This activity is one of the best ways to find out which areas you need to improve to be easily understood.
for Being Clear
If you assign people to complete tasks for you at work, your first task is to clearly tell the person what you want them to do. Easier said than done. Getting results in the workplace has less to do with charisma than with clarity. Here are some hints for maximizing clarity.
Set the climate.
Give the big picture.
Describe the steps of the task.
Get someone to explain his or her strategy for accomplishing the task.
Agree on a date to follow up.
When you speak, ask Did I make myself clear? Ross Perots line during his oh-so-brief presidential campaign was, Are you with me?
Such questions often help both parties proceed more productively. Did I make myself clear? may remind the other person to listen instead of lazily replying yes. If the point is critical, you may ask the other party to repeat the information back to you just to be sure that you are communicating effectively. Assure your counterpart that repeating vital information does not constitute an agreement--just clarification.
Did you have a clear result in mind prior to the communication? If so, what was
Did you plan what you wanted to say? If so, what was it?
Did you communicate your intentions clearly and specifically?
Did you maintain your original intentions in the communication, or did you wander
into other subject areas?
Was your style of delivery consistent with the results you wanted?
What might have you done differently?
did you say "No?" Those are the areas requiring improvement.
Reflection Exercise #7
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
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