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Be fluid in your thinking, but concrete in your communication

Posted by Meg Bear on April 23, 2010


I have realized lately that a big part of what I offer to most situations is my core need to make things concrete and specific.  I can’t seem to help myself but fill vague empty space with concrete plans.

Whether it is converting business data to strategy,  technical vision to product plans, or vague concepts to use cases, I am all about being specific.

Somehow that is how my brain works.

Amongst friends, I refer to this as my brain “dumbing down” information.

So whether it is something like FASB /GAPP rules, or AICC compliance or CPIM best practices,  I tend to create a specific example as part of the process of comprehending the topic.  Once I’ve got a simple story in my head, I can re-assemble these examples into more complex solutions on demand.

The complex is no longer complicated, it’s specific.

As I think about key success factors for my own career, I see this ability to be concrete as a big part of the value I bring to an organization, and I often wonder why this is so unique?

Not to steal my own competitive advantage or anything, but anyone can develop this skill.  There are two [concrete] steps to mastering concrete communication.

They are not hard but they do take effort.

First: Think in terms of use cases and examples not just concepts.  It’s ok to start with concepts if that is easier for you, but quickly get to an example.  Most of us understand examples better than concepts.  The more banal your example, the better.

Second: Communicate your ideas and examples in the language and the form that your audience prefers.  That’s right, you need to get over yourself and think about others, for this to work.

Bonus points: If you can frame your communication with emotion vs. just facts you will get more results with the communications you deliver.

What tricks to you use to make your communication effective?

3 Responses to “Be fluid in your thinking, but concrete in your communication”

  1. Amy Wilson said

    You set the bar very high Meg – for example, the bar used in pole vaulting, it’s set very high and few pole jumpers can clear it.

  2. […] Bear,  of the TalentedApps advices, Be fluid in your thinking, but concrete in your communication. It covers how to go about making your ideas more accessible so everyone can better benefit from […]

  3. […] Bear,  of the TalentedApps advices, Be fluid in your thinking, but concrete in your communication. It covers how to go about making your ideas more accessible so everyone can better benefit from […]

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