Now that you have completed the Clarity Warm Up module, we hope you are thinking more about how to improve the clarity of your communication.
You will have already seen from the video that improving the clarity of your communication is conceptually straightforward. However you may also have an inkling that actually achieving clarity involves changing how you think and the way you actually go about writing, which might be hard.
Our experience tells us that to change the way you think and write requires a combination of commitment, cunning and collaboration. Here are some pointers on each of these areas:
Commitment: The first and most important step whenever you decide not just to learn something new, but to consistently apply the things you learn, is to commit to doing it. Set yourself some goals and decide to make the necessary steps a priority, which in this case means completing the modules, practicing the techniques in your own work, and sticking with it.
Cunning: Changing the way we do things is always a challenge, and there are several traps that you will need to avoid while working through the coming weeks if you are to get the results that you want, for example:
- Setting yourself a schedule and then finding that other work commitments make keeping that schedule difficult. If this happens, try scheduling your modules one by one.
- Behaving like the hare, rather than the tortoise. Don't underestimate how far you will travel by taking lots of small steps rather than one big leap. We find that those who begin by frequently applying these techniques to voicemails and emails learn – and stick with – the techniques best.
- Not getting the results you want straight away. You may not think your first few attempts have led to a ‘perfect result', or alternatively your audience may give you negative feedback. Don't be afraid to ask your audience about their response: you may just need to explain what you have changed and why, or it may be that they have some good points that you can learn from.
Collaboration: This is critical. Ask colleagues to provide feedback on drafts and – even better – find someone who already knows these techniques to test them from a structural perspective, even if they are not an expert in your area. In fact, an ‘objective outsider' often provides the best advice.
We look forward to working with you over the coming weeks and please do feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.