Miscommunication happens regularly – every day, perhaps every hour. What can you do about it?
There are many solutions, but I’m going to focus on the one tip that works in every situation. It clarifies expectations, wants, and needs, and decreases the confusion caused by the various perspectives, definitions, and styles at the table.
I can sum it up in two words: be explicit.
Explicit language is contextual language. It doesn’t include subtext and it doesn’t hint. It doesn’t hope that the other person will get what we’re trying to say. Instead, it ensures it because, well, we’re saying it. Being explicit means stating – clearly – what you need, what you want, and what you expect. It means leaving nothing implied. Nothing to chance.
It means you have increased odds of getting what you want – from your staff, from your boss, from your partner, from your friends.
Being explicit does not mean being tactless. You can be explicit while still showing a level of engagement that fits the person with whom you’re speaking. You can be appropriate. You can be smart about it. You can be compassionate. You can be interesting. Just be clear, too.
There are far too many important things going on at your nonprofit it leave things to interpretation. Learn to be explicit, and to do it well, and if nothing else, everyone will know exactly what you need, want or expect.
In many cases, they’ll even deliver.