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A Powerful Way To Improve Your Communication

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A powerful way to improve the clarity of your communication is to learn to define the meaning of your major ideas. Why should you do this? Because there are currently many words and phrases in your language habits, that fall into the category of "often used but ill defined".

Frequently words and phrases which are often repeated are so "open" in meaning, that they invite questions. These words can include fair, unfair, professional attitude, out of the box thinking and what the people want. These words and phrases provoke a multiplicity of questions including, "The people? What people?" or "What do you mean "out of the box thinking???". In meetings, in conversation, in debate, if you use these open words and phrases, you can expect to be asked (quite rightly) for a definition.

So it is absolutely imperative for you to be able to define difficult terms quickly and convincingly. If and when pressed to do so.

The problem is this, how can you "find the words" quickly enough to be able to generate a convincing response to the demand for a specific definition of an abstract term. The answer is to learn the following question, by heart, and apply it to all your major ideas.

What are the three or four distinguishing characteristics that distinguish BLANKs from non blanks and other blanks in its class.

Here is an example, if you were trying to define the word "positive attitude", you can do that by asking and answering the following question. What are the three or four distinguishing characteristics that distinguish a "positive attitude" from a normal person's attitude?

That might generate the following, positive attitude is distinguished by, a goal focused mind, refusal to give in, a focus on the future, and a willingness to see a defeat as an opportunity to learn. A second example would be, if you were trying to define the word 'fair', you can do that by asking and answering the following question. What are the three or four characteristics that distinguish a fair person from an unfair person. That might generate the following, a fair person is distinguished by holding everyone to the same reasonable standard, ignoring race, religion and gender as a means of judging others and treating people according to their individual strengths and weaknesses.

The examples could endlessly be multiplied, but there is no need because the method is always the same. Learn the question, by heart, and apply it to all your major ideas.

What are the three or four distinguishing characteristics that distinguish BLANK from non blanks and other blanks in its class.

The point is if you have an idea, then you had better be able to answer exactly how your idea distinguishes itself from all the other similar ideas that the others guy has heard before. If you can answer the "three or four distinguishing characteristics" question, then you are in business as a communicator. But if you can't, then you are NOT.

If you have a new product or a service, then you had better be able to answer exactly how your service distinguishes itself from all the other similar ones. If you can answer "three or four distinguishing characteristics" question, then you are in business as a communicator and if you can't, then you are NOT.

An important tip is to learn the given question, by heart, and practice applying it to all your major ideas.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CHRIS FARMER
Chris Farmer is a Management Training Consultant specialising in Management and Personal Development Training. The courses provided by Corporate Coach Group have helped hundreds of managers become immediately more effective.

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