Communication is an extremely important part of life, and not just in leadership. Really, anyone can talk about anything, but it takes special practice to get your ideas across in an intelligible way. What this boils down to is being concise.
I think we’ve all experienced the leader (and been the leader) who rambles on and on to try and make a point, but by the time their point is made, you’ve lost focus because you couldn’t keep up with their multiple trains of thought. We have good ideas and good intentions, but sometimes the message gets muddled up in an excessive string of words. Even if you have the best, world-changing idea, it won’t matter if you can’t accurately and concisely convey that message in a way that is understood by the other person.
This is something that I often struggle with, and it’s honestly why I try to keep my blog posts at about 300 words. It forces me to focus in on my message and only pick the most appropriate pieces of stories that will get my point across. I often feel like I have a lot to say, but what good is it if I cloud my point with unnecessary words that will only lead to confusion.
Part of being concise is choosing the right words to say in a certain context, which is another thing I really struggle with. Mark Twain said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” I think sometimes we all want to feel like we’re smart, and an easy way to do that is to use big words. While big words have their place, they’re not always necessary and can often detract from the conciseness of your message.
As I wrap up this post, I want to leave you with a question: What are some things you can do to make yourself more concise? Do you feel you are too longwinded and vague? How do you think that affects other people?