Talking things through

planOur days are filled with myriad tasks, issues, and surprises. In our quest to keep up and our desire to get ahead, we take shortcuts. Looking for shortcuts is a great mental exercise. We examine a situation, think critically and creatively, and find a better way. Shortcuts save us lots of time and energy. Except when they don’t.

One area where shortcuts are apt to do more harm than good is in communications. Rushing through the exchange of ideas and plans can lead to misunderstandings. We think we’re on the same page when we’re not. Or, we’ve simply not thought things through. We understand where we’re at and we agree upon where we want to go. Then, we break off and charge ahead in the name of efficiency and expediency. But we missed some things. Like discussing the list of things that will get us from the beginning to the end. Heck, we probably didn’t even fully articulate that list before charging off.

Talking things through, even the seemingly obvious and mundane, has tremendous value. It’s our best opportunity to work collaboratively on the details of our plan. To itemize, review, and revise our plan. To give shape to its overall strategy and approach. To confirm our shared understanding and to fill in the gaps. Skip this step at your own peril.

Photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives

Power Cues, by Nick Morgan

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Communications in any form involve much more than the words exchanged. Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact, by Nick Morgan, covers a wide array of non-verbal communications that can help you improve your ability to connect with and influence others. Morgan covers this crucial but often under-leveraged aspect of […]

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To Communicate Is To Lead

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There is no more important skill in any field right now than the ability to connect with others directly and meaningfully. It’s the scarce resource in a time-starved, information-saturated, increasingly demanding world. The always-on buzzing and beeping and ringtone-ing clutter is not conducive to this most important aspect of our work. Communicating effectively is a […]

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Power listening tip: one simple thing you can do today to become a better listener

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Have you ever wondered what makes a great interview? Not a job interview, but an interview for a talk show or podcast. How do the really good interviewers work their magic? Do they do the most research? Do they prepare the best questions? Do they have some secret tricks? And, if we could learn some […]

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The End of Big, by Nicco Mele

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It’s obvious that things are changing, and changing rapidly. It’s clear that the changes are profound, and that new threats and opportunities are impacting business at something other than a trendy or superficial level. In his book, The End of Big, Nicco Mele captures the essence of the change we’re experiencing and gives it a […]

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