A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Have you challenged yourself to write a personal mission, positioning, or vision statement?  It’s amazing how such a simple exercise can take hours!

Drilling down to a couple of crafted sentences – or, ideally, a few meaningful words – that speak clearly to who you are, why you exist, and what you’re dedicating your life to can be quite the exercise.  Because we are so enormous in who we are and what we offer, it’s natural to respond to, “Who are you?” or, “What do you do?” with the enormity in detail.

Now I’ll admit that I had a tendency to want to share the whole story (everyone who knows me is happy to see this admission in writing), and I’ve proven to myself that while I think I’m being abundantly clear because of my inclusion of applicable details, I lose people in the process. It’s that deer-in-the-headlights stare, questions asking about what I just said, or them moving on to another topic that was the two-by-four across the head.

Aha! ~ Less truly is more.

My other admission is my ability to complicate anything because I always see the bigger picture and want to share it.  Turning big topics into 60-second blogs – as well as the frequent deer-in-the-headlights stare – taught me three words: edit, edit, edit.

Have you attended meetings where there is so much random sharing that someone is compelled to say, “Well, it all boils down to this …. “, and you are ecstatic to have a point?  Many people really just want to be heard but in business communication, especially, pithy rules.

In “The Unwritten Laws of Business”, the authors suggest the art of simplifying and summarizing is not a skill but a habit.   Some people allow themselves to get immersed in a “sea of detail” while others can “…withdraw to a suitable vantage point to survey a mass of facts in their proper perspective.”

“…. withdraw to a suitable vantage point ….”; that means elevating yourself to see the bigger picture, extract what’s important, then summarize that in a value statement or call-to-action.

The authors’ advice?  “Cultivate the habit of “boiling matters down” to their simplest terms.”  A habit that will surely get you buy-in faster.

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