Being Brief (Because We Barely Listen)


Being Brief (Because We Barely Listen)

My favorite resignation letter of all times was the one Richard Nixon wrote: “I hereby resign the Office of the President of the United States. Sincerely, Richard Nixon.”

One sentence. It said EVERYHTING it had to say. Direct. To the point. Simple. Clear. So if we can appreciate simplicity, why are we always explaining everything? People speak faster than human beings can listen. The slower you speak, the more they hear. And no one ever really expects an explanation. People who are polite will stand there listening, nodding and smiling – but watch their eyes – they get tired of the whole explanation and the eyes go blank. What they’re thinking about is the dry cleaning they have to pick up after the meeting. People don’t want background. They don’t need to know what you know. They just need what they need. Keep your explanation to yourself and just tell them what they need to know about what you can do for them.

I often tell my clients and colleagues to Sloooow Dowwwn. The slower you speak, the better the chances you’ll be heard. Most people won’t even notice how slow you’re going. They’ll just perceive it as being direct and clear.

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