To communicate clearly we’ve gotta operate efficiently. Being hurried or disorganized jeopardizes the clarity of our response or message. Carelessly speeding toward completion can delay a project by creating innaccurate or longer-than-necessary dialogue. In order to go fast and win, an Indy Car driver must be focused on the finish line BUT, he must also communicate with his spotter and pit crew with absolute accuracy...no rushing past the details or making assumptions. In a time-sensitive environment, the exchange of information cannot be vague or loose if success is the desired result.
Keepin’ the Pace
Now, as an avid speed-seeker, I realize the importance of keeping a swift pace; I try to recognize or anticipate factors that may slow it down. If you’re sitting behind the computer with deadlines looming, here are some tips that help you keep a consistent pace and be concise with your communication:
You‘ve Got Mail...Again: If your email app’s Send-and-Receive schedule is set to automatically check every five minutes, CHANGE IT! I’ve noticed a huge reduction in distraction by setting mine for every 20 minutes.
Say Again? If you need to provide direction (like corrections or additions) to a comrade or vendor, invest the time into typing it up so the recipient can refer to it multiple times (if necessary) as opposed to calling you back on the phone multiple times!
The Telephone Game: If someone must dictate a need, quickly review your handwritten notes with them before they leave the room or hang up the phone. This will pay off.
Spoiled Meet: We've worked with companies that seem to meet about meeting to set up a time to meet. Listen, meetings are necessary, but when they are over-scheduled, frequently go off-topic, or have no time limit...you’re doomed. Production or billable hours come to a screeching halt and attendees learn to tune out.
Brain Trickery: Set your clocks 10-minutes ahead so you when you’re starting your phone conference late as usual, you’re actually on time. Just kidding; I don’t think this actually works (unless you’re in your car driving to a meeting...am I right?).
Good luck, always wear your helmet, and remember, it’s not speed that kills clarity, it’s careless communication!
-Corey Wilkinson, Wilkinson Brothers, Inc.