I hope your week has got off to a great start.
Last week, we ventured into the fascinating concept of; “Our Vital Force” when we face our fears and find this surge of energy that charges us to move ahead. If you missed it, you can see this and all of my previous blogs below.
In the bustling world of work and business, communication is the linchpin holding everything together isn’t it! Whether it’s sealing a deal, collaborating on a project, or simply exchanging ideas, effective communication is the key to success.
Yet, there’s an all-too-common communication issue that often flies under the radar: vagueness.
In this thought for the week, we’ll explore why vagueness ranks among the top ten communication issues in business and how speaking concisely and with more precision can pave the way for clearer and more actionable communication.
Of course, we still want to be our natural selves in our conversations. At the same time, we just may not realise when we are being vague about what we want to say or ask.
Imagine this scenario: A manager gathers their team and poses the question, “Should we change our protocol when it comes to contacting customers?” On the surface, it seems like a reasonable inquiry. However, what typically follows? More often than not, nothing substantial transpires. The reason is simple – the question is too vague to prompt actionable responses.
In this case, the manager’s intentions may be sincere, but the question lacks the specificity required to initiate meaningful change. It’s a common pitfall in business communication. Sometimes, the problem isn’t a lack of communication, but rather the way a question or statement is delivered.
So, how can we address this issue effectively?
By making our requests more actionable. What do I mean by that?
Well, instead of asking a broad question like, “Should we change our protocol?” we could rephrase it to, “What are three ways we could change our protocol today?”
Yes, the first question is a closed one that invites a simple yes or no answer. Whereas the second question will, of course, invite ideas and will be more productive.
Even when people are aware of open and closed questions, they can still easily slip into vagueness by asking closed ones.
Here’s why this shift in approach is so important:
- It encourages productive dialogue
- It Fosters innovation
- It defines expectations
- It gives accountability, follow-through and makes it easier to track progress.
You will have encountered vagueness yourself and, in business, communication is a prevalent issue that often goes unnoticed. It can hinder productivity, stifle innovation, and lead to misunderstandings.
However, by recognising the power of precision and making requests more actionable, businesses can unlock the full potential of their teams and drive meaningful change.
And this applies in all areas of our lives too doesn’t it! Like when we’re talking to friends and family, in sport, when we need to get something repaired at home etc.
So, the next time you find yourself asking a vague question, remember that clarity and specificity are the keys to fostering clear and actionable communication in business and in life.
“Know what you want. Clarity is power.
And vague goals promote vague results”.
[Robin Sharma is a Canadian writer, best known for his ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ book series.]
Curious to learn more about how I can help you to improve communication in your life and / or your business? Book a Complimentary Discovery Call with me HERE.
With best wishes for your success,
Thrive Coaching & Training – Empowering you to Thrive!