Words matter. Yet, many communications are broken just because we use the wrong words.
Early in my career, I thought that using well-articulated sentences blended with some industry bandwagons would have helped me building trust and credibility with others.
I was so wrong.
When I realised that I could be more effective by changing my way to talk and write, I started to notice some interesting things:
- My team was working much way better than before
- My clients stopped asking: “can you be more specific?”
- My business got off the ground much faster
Once I saw the benefits, I understood that I could do even better if I was able to:
- Change my mindset
- Build new habits
This would have allowed me to stick with these changes and not going back to the old style.
Be pragmatic and effective in communication has a lot of benefits. But there’s one that matters more than others. It really helps to get results.
And now, in the remote working world, getting results is absolutely a priority. Not wishful thinking.
There are five big learnings that I’d like to share with you and hopefully help you to be more effective and successful:
1. Make short sentences
Most of the concepts don’t require long sentences. We tend to over-describe sentences for the sake of adding more flavors. We don’t need that. Besides, long sentences kill attention and interest.
2. Make your point quick
Go straight to the point. Don’t go around that. If your sentence is not formed yet, take a chance to think about it more and maybe ask questions to seek more clarity.
When you don’t do that, people around you might get frustrated. In the virtual world, this is even more critical. I’ve seen too many endless online meetings with no real outcomes.
3. Be simple
I learned how simplicity makes a huge difference in business. We tend to overcomplicate things that aren’t supposed to be difficult. But even when things are difficult, we deal with them with an amount of unnecessary complexity.
Talk and write as you’re with friends. It doesn’t change the quality of the conversation.
4. Forget buzzwords
I hate any sort of buzzword. Every industry has them. But instead of fighting them, we jump on them and overuse them.
Here’s the thing. Good words, when they become buzzwords, lose their original meaning, and get lost in sentences.
And when a word loses meaning, becomes fluff.
5. More periods than commas
That’s the hardest thing to accept if you’re a grammar lover. I know it’s not often correct doing this, but I can guarantee you get your readers more engaged and interested in what you write.
Cutting sentences helps reading. And periods do the work quite nicely.
If you’re not effective as a communicator with people around you, this is a red flag that might prevent you get results.
Changing habits and styles isn’t easy or a quick fix. I know it takes time and requires a big step out of your comfort. It requires dedication and repetition too.
If this sounds a priority for you, what is one thing you would like to change in your communication style in the next 60 days?