Clarity means absence of haze or turbidity in material. Clarity is one word that can crumble a mighty business empire to dust, and it is the only word that can build a start-up company to a mighty empire. Clarity is the word that is linked to business communication. During my days as an HR I have met several people who really lacked clarity in their communication. Whether that was due to time limitations, insecurity, forgetfulness, misjudgement or only plain laziness, there seemed to be a problem in taking the time to communicate information to employees, bosses, or one another.
Some managers err on the side of giving too little information since they do not want to provide any more information than the employees need to perform their jobs. But they are forgetting the motivational value of “being in” on things. Teamwork is only developed where information is shared freely. We should concentrate not only on developing communication skills, but on putting those skills into practice. Although meetings are expensive, especially if people must be flown from different parts of the country, there is no substitute for this face-to-face communication process. Team spirit is enhanced when everyone knows their role and how their jobs relate to others in the organization. Communication should not be limited to an annual or semi-annual meeting. Utilization of all the technology and opportunities available to provide a steady flow of two-way information through webinars, conference calls, bulletins, videos, newsletters, posting, websites, social media, and so on. All have their place in the communication process.
Clarity in business world means that the communication must be CLEAR, CONCISE & CREDIBLE. Communication that we do in the business world can be divided into the following sections:
3. Body Language
7. Social Media
Let us discuss what does clarity means for all these sections:
1. Clear. Do not mumble. Enunciate clearly and speak loud enough to be heard. Don’t speak too quickly. Use simple language and speak naturally without excessive pauses. Stay on topic. Eliminate distractions. Get feedback.
2. Concise. Do not ramble or keep repeating yourself. Eliminate uh, uh, uh between sentences. Get to the point quickly. (Similar to writing.) Stop speaking before they stop listening.
3. Credible. Make sure your body language reinforces what you are saying. Make eye contact. Do not speak too fast. Take your time. Be consistent with what you have said in the past. When answering questions, do not bluff. Tell them you will look it up or think about it and get back to them. You cannot know everything, and if you pretend you do, you will lose credibility.
1. Clear. Give full attention to the speaker. We think faster than anyone can speak; use the extra time to think about what is being said, where the speaker is headed, body language etc. Don’t prejudge. Ignore your hot buttons and focus on understanding what the speaker is saying and why.
2. Concise. Summarize in your mind what is being said. If listening to a public speaker or trainer, jot down main ideas. This will remind you of other things said as well.
3. Credible. How does this support or contradict what other people have said? What proof, example, references and so on have been given? Does the speaker’s body language contradict what is being said?
3. Body Language:
1. Clear. Whether you are speaking or listening, you want to make sure the body language supports what is being said rather than conflicts with it. It pays to have a good grasp of non-verbal communications.
2. Concise. Do not misread the body language. Just learn the basic body language signs and see if most of them indicate something other than what the speaker is saying. Then draw your own conclusions.
3. Credible. Body language that supports what the speaker is saying lends credibility to it. But the speaker may have habits or mannerisms that have nothing to do with non-verbal communications. So, do not jump to conclusions. Alternatively, the speaker may have read the same book on body language as you have read and avoids anything that conflicts with what he or she is saying.
1. Clear. Do not use big words, a pompous tone or poor grammar. Use the active voice. Be specific in telling them why you are writing to them and what you expect from them if anything. If you are asking for something, specify a deadline.
2. Concise. Do not use long, rambling sentences. Keep them short. Get to the point quickly. Short messages tend to get read first. This is particularly true with e-mail.
3. Credible. Do not exaggerate, wander from the topic, or get emotional. Include examples, references and facts as required.
1. Clear. Use a heading that summarizes the message and grabs the reader’s attention. You want to motivate the receiver to open your e-mail message rather than to delete it. If it’s urgent or a priority, say so; but use those words sparingly. Use good grammar and correct punctuation. Double space and number the points being made.
2. Concise. Limit each e-mail message to one topic only. It makes it easier to file under a specific topic and retrieve later. It will usually result in a faster response to your message as well. If you ask two questions on unrelated topics, for instance, the person usually will not reply until they have answers to both questions. Keep lines less than 80 characters in length, preferably 65 to 70. When sending an email to more than one person, be sure to indicate who is to do what.
3. Credible. Write with the reader’s interests in mind. Do not cut corners by using all lower-case letters. And do not use all caps. It is not only considered shouting; it makes the memo more difficult to read. Review and edit all messages before sending them.
1. Clear. In the case of reading books or articles, communication is one way, and you are on the receiving end. Skim through the item first and read the introduction or abstract to get a clear idea of the topic being communicated. Sometimes titles can be misleading.
2, Concise. If reading for information or suggestions, read with a purpose. Example turn the title into a question and search for the answers. For example, if it is titled “Managing your time,” ask yourself, “What things can I do to manage my time better?” Then highlight or record those things as you spot them.
3. Credible. Compare the information with that obtained from other articles, books and personal experiences to determine whether everything you read sounds valid and workable. The writer’s experience and qualifications are more relevant than the writing skills when seeking information.
7. Social media:
1. Clear. If you want to communicate clearly, keep it simple. According to marketing consultant Mary Hayes, quoted in a Toronto Globe & Mail article, visitors to your site expect to find what they are looking for in 15 seconds or they are gone. She claims, “They want to find, not search.” The same thing applies to your social media postings or tweets.
2. Concise. If you use social media for friends and relatives, it’s okay to say you’re having a coffee and a local shop; but if you’re using it to promote your business, make sure what you post is both brief and significant. Do not communicate if you have nothing meaningful to communicate.
3. Credible. Business people want information that will help them to be successful, to be more productive, to increase sales, to save costs, and so on. If you have a product or service that will fulfil a need, tell him about it. Even providing useful information containing no mention of your product or service can be effective if you provide a link to your website. People like dealing with companies or individuals who are generous with their information – and particularly if it is information that will help them in some way.
Thus, Clarity is the soul of business communication and without it, no organization can flourish.
Besides if you do have any questions contact me: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath