It isn’t only huge miscommunications problems that interfere with productivity either. For instance, the corporate president who calls an analyst for a figure to include in an upcoming speech. The president expected the analyst to spend 15 minutes working out a high level “guestimate,”
According to Stack, both the president and the analyst are at fault.
“The president should have said, ‘I’m looking for this kind of number, and thinking it’ll take you fifteen minutes or so to ballpark it, plus or minus a few million dollars,’” Stack says. The analyst could have then told the president whether it was feasible to give him a proper response in 15 minutes, or tell him how long it would take, at which time the president could have decided if it was necessary to pursue.
One of the most valuable tools an individual has in their ability to communicate well. In fact, it is a crucial productivity tool, Stack says, especially in terms of how thoroughly and even how aggressively one expresses their needs or requirements. Even when communications lines are kept open, the pathway is meaningless if one party is beating around the bush, using obscure terns, paraphrasing the real message intended or burying a request in unnecessary verbiage that can be confusing and irritating.
“At best, this slows others down, and at worst, people may ignore you,” Stack says. “Either outcome damages productivity, both yours and theirs.”
Whether communicating with employees or superiors, Stack advises readers to make every effort to get their point across with a minimum of unnecessary “noise:”
“Choose your words with care, saying precisely what you mean, as directly as possible,” Stack says.
For those who struggle with speaking directly to others, Stack suggests practicing what to say in advance.
“Take a results-oriented stance, envisioning precisely what you want to achieve,” she says. “Then edit your message toward that end to make it plain and specific, tweak it to avoid sounding brusque, and deliver it assertively and as simply as possible.
“Avoid unnecessary disqualifiers as well; the “what if’s,” “maybe’s,”
According to Stack, directness is essential when asking for information or giving instructions. Take charge, choose the right words, and make your requirements absolutely clear. Workplace communication should be as unambiguous as humanly possible.
For information on communicating effectively, visit http://www.TheProductivityPro.com website, Email Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call 303-471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent”