Life is hard enough without adding more complexity to the mix. For me, Denzel Washington’s 1993 line in the movie Philadelphia, remains a sound piece of business advice, tell it to me “as if I were six-years-old.”
And I won’t be offended if you lower the bar a year or two lower than that!
Sure the world is filled with nuance, but many of us try to dress our communications up-for-success, using big words or complex concepts, but over time, sophisticated leaders know how to keep it simple…SERIOUSLY!
Three ways to simplify your life and your communications:
- Put a sock in it… Remember the old saying. “I wrote you a long letter, if I had more time, I would have written you a short letter.” The rule? Write a draft and then revise to reduce the number of words you used by 50%.
- 95% Seuss-Test it… Would 95% of the worlds you used fit nicely in a Dr. Seuss tale? If not, think of other, more accessible terms that will help your audience understand what you really mean.
- Engage your child or get one on loan…If you want to know if your message can be understood by a six-year-old, get a six-year-old consultant! I’ve been asking my son William questions about my work for years and he’s consistently offered great advice. If you are wondering if this will really work, ask yourself if the concepts you deal with professionally are really all that complex or are you just making them that way? Either way, my son is ten now, so he may be outgrowing the job.
Keeping it simple and keeping it real… until next week, this is Jeff saying, stay connected,
P.S. 300 words of a 300-word budget