Brevity can impact your workplace. I am as much at fault as anyone…we need to learn that Brevity in the workplace makes it more productive, and helps keep tasks in focus. Our friends over at 15Five.com have sent over a fantastic article regarding improving communication around your office thru the use of Brevity and it is well worth reading. We need to all understand how to communicate efficiently and effectively with each other and they give some guidelines herein that can help us all improve our daily communication in a positive way.
How to Improve Communication in the Office With Brevity
Written by: ***Rae Steinbach
Have you ever found yourself in an over-extended conversation in the office? You’ve asked a simple question in a meeting, and a co-worker is going on about things that might not even be relevant to the intention of the conference.
In these situations, the person isn’t going on because they lack respect for your time. They just want to make sure they have a chance to say everything that needs to be said. While these long conversations might eventually get to the necessary points, it is not the most efficient way to handle your office communications or improve the internal feedback loop.
When you enter conversations with more intention, you can have more efficient communications without losing the benefits of recognizing employees and what they have to say. Information will be still be heard and conveyed in a way that is more effective, and it will take less time to get to the point.
Start Off on the Same Page
Start your conversations by coming together on things like the purpose, scope, and topic of the conversation. You just need to take a few minutes to make sure that you are both on the same page. This will ensure that the conversation stays within its time limit and that you both stay on topic.
Consider the amount of time that you both have for the conversation. Tell the person the amount of time you have at the beginning, and ask them if that works for them. Say something like, “I have another meeting in half an hour, is that enough time for you?”
You also need to agree on a purpose for the discussion. Ask the person why they might need the meeting, and make sure that they are aware of your goals. If you have an important point, you can start by telling them that there is a good reason for you requesting the conversation.
If you have been talking at length, you may also want to ask the listener a question to keep them in the conversation. Take a pause and ask a question like, “Do you see where I am going with this?”
When the conversation is nearing an end, you should elicit feedback from the other person. Get them to reflect on the conversation by asking some questions. Try questions like, “Do you see why we needed to have this conversation?” You could also ask something like, “Is there anything else you would like to add?”
As much as you want your employees to respect your time and keep conversations brief, it is also important for you to give your full attention in a conversation. If you appear distracted or disinterested, the employee might go on longer because they feel like they aren’t being heard.
Here are a few ways that you can keep conversations brief, while giving the person the attention they deserve.
Get an Outline
In many conversations, the biggest problem is that people feel like they need to provide too much detail, or you might find that the person goes over the same point more than once. Ask the person to give you an outline of the meeting. This will keep them aware of the scope of the conversation, and it will help them to make sure that they are getting all of the necessary points.
If you see that the person is starting to talk in circles, or that they are repeating points they already made, give them a quick summary of what they said. The person will see that you are listening, and it will show them that they do not need to keep going over the same points.
Wrap Things Up
Once the conversation has fulfilled its purpose, it is time to try to wrap things up. If it is dragging on, or you see that you are about to run out of time, ask the person to give you the most important points that they need you to take away from the conversation. This will get them to summarize the key points, and it will help to move the conversation toward its conclusion.
It takes a little practice to maintain brief conversations that still meet their purpose, but it is a worthwhile thing to strive toward. It will make for better time management in the office, and can lead to conversations that are a more effective means of information exchange.