“When you add to the truth, you take from it. ” Talmud
A client was bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t get a clear answer from another leader in her organisation.
It turns out that she wasn’t communicating as clearly as she thought she was and as a result was getting a diluted response to her diluted requests.
Get to the point – clean up your language
I’ve cut out and ‘would you like to’ and ‘let me know’ out of my emails and texts to people.
Because I find it’s more straightforward to ask a direct question. It saves time, energy, cuts out waffle and I’m being true to me.
For example whenever I’d advertised a White Space Getaway and been asked for details, at the end of the email I used to say… ‘let me know if you want to come’.
Now I don’t know why exactly but over the last few months I felt a sinking feeling whenever I wrote the ‘let me know’ words. They felt heavy as if there was a lie there.
What’s the lie?
The lie was that I hadn’t asked directly ‘are you coming? And adding ‘let me know’ at the end of the email felt felt weak and insipid and a little unclean because I wasn’t being clear or true or real.
You see if I’m giving you details about an event, what I really want to say to you is ‘are you coming?’ Not even ‘would you like to come? because even if you would like to come, it doesn’t mean you are coming.
By asking you a direct question you’re clear on what I want to know. My best means of getting a direct response from you is to ask a clear question that you can answer equally clearly.
Back to the client
Why do we dilute our requests?
Because sometimes we’re afraid we won’t like the answer. It takes courage to ask directly for what you want. The general trend is to dance around it a little. If you’re really clear, your request can be rejected or accepted. If you don’t take rejection well you may resist being direct.
The point is – get to the point. Get clear on what you really want. Then ask the question that directly addresses that want. That is if you really want the answer of course!