“Why BRIEF? In our attention-deficit economy, being brief is what’s desperately needed and rarely delivered.
When we fail to be clear and concise, the consequences can be brutal: wasted time, money, and resources; decisions made in confusion; worthy ideas rejected; people sent off in wrong directions; done deals that always seem to stall.”
What, then, is the power of brevity?
Brevity demonstrates clarity, self-awareness, applied knowledge, and leadership.
“Incisive Sounds Decisive. Too many people think that if they allotted twenty minutes on the program, they are compelled to use every bit of their time, and more. if they expect fifteen, and you give them five, you are displaying singular leadership.”
Why is it hard to be brief?
Brevity takes a solid understanding of what we are trying to communicate and why we are expressing it, the discipline to check our progress, and an awareness of how much is too much or not enough.
Here are “seven sins,” or habits , that tend to make people verbose.
Note that the language used here is strong! I find I need to prepare myself to be open to examining my habits — my greatest sins are #5 Confusion, and #6 Complication.
1. Cowardice — I don’t want to take a stand. There are a lot of perspectives on that topic. I’m afraid of saying what I need to say.
2. Confidence — I know so much (or in so much detail) that I could talk for days!
3. Callousness — I don’t value your time that much. I say “this will just take a few minutes,” but I assume you can give me more time that that.
4. Comfort — I get on a roll. It feels good to keep talking.
5. Confusion — I’m not clear in my thinking. Bear with me, I am just thinking out loud.
6. Complication — This is a really intricate issue. It’s not easy to explain! (I am using complexity as an excuse.)
7. Carelessness — I’m not filtering as I talk. I just say things as they come to mind.
There’s a lot more where that came from! Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less, Joseph McCormack