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Ducks in a Row: the Value of Direct, Clear Commications

by Miki Saxon

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lazylikewally/2940952229/In an article focused on meetings and importance of being direct Tony Tjan, CEO and Managing Partner of The Cue Ball Group, says, “When we avoid conflict or try to skirt directness, it does a disservice to all involved, and often just plain wastes time.”

I’ve voiced similar thoughts about directness in posts about bad news and rumors (supported by some interesting CDC research).

It often seems that subtlety and so-called diplomacy is taking the place of direct, honest communications, which, especially in the workplace, is asking for trouble.

A lack of directness stems mainly from three very different sources.

  1. Fear of confrontation: directness is often seen as a confrontational act that may create disagreement unlike subtlety and hints that can be misconstrued.
  1. Confusion/lack of clarity: not having a good grasp on what you want to communicate makes it impossible to be direct.
  1. Laziness: it is far easier to talk about, around, over and under the subject than it is to sort it out and plan how to best communicate it.

Another misconception is that being direct means being rude.

It doesn’t.

Rudeness is as much a function of presentation as it is of wording.

It’s simple to clean up wording; sanitizing non-verbal communications takes a bit more effort.

It means eliminating negative or demeaning body language (like sighs and eye-rolls) and focusing on displaying respect for those to whom you are speaking.

It may even require an adjustment to your MAP, but the pay-off is worth it.

Less confusion, less disagreement, less acrimony; increased trust and improved productivity and creativity are just a few of the benefits of clear, direct communications.

Flickr image credit: haven’t the slightest

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