Clear Communications

Photo by: U.S. Army

Have you ever felt like you were giving someone instructions and they just didn’t get it.  Maybe you thought that the person you were giving instructions to was a moron.   But maybe the problem was you!  You might not have been clear enough in your instructions.  Clear communications is the key to so many relationships.  I want to share a little strategy that might WILL help you communicate more clearly.  It is so simple that you will let out a big “duh!”  But sometimes the most simple things make the most impact.

Here it is…  “clarify by.”  What?!?  Let me explain….  Many times we give partial instructions, “clean the backyard.”  So our kids go out and clean up what they think should be cleaned up.  But you meant that you wanted them to pull weeds.  So to use “clarify by” instead, you would say, “Clean up the backyard BY pulling the weeds in the garden.”

The idea is that if you can continue talking or giving instructions after the first part of your statement, you haven’t gone far enough.  Your communication isn’t clear and there will be issues.

Here are some more examples of using “clarify by:”

“Why don’t you start a fire?”  turns into “Why don’t you start a fire BY gathering different sizes of wood and use your Strike Anywhere matches.”

“Start dinner” turn into “Start dinner by putting on a pot to boil.”

“Will you clean the car?” turn into “Will you clean the car by using the car wash soap and a sponge in the garage and wiping it down with the shammy?”

Communicating effectively is a skill and takes practice.  It is something that everyone can improve on.  Try it this week and see how it works!

 

 

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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4 thoughts on “Clear Communications

  1. Buck

    I see your point, but I can see this going to far. What can be a simple request based on logic and rationale as the ONLY outcome,can be degraded to a point of belittling. If my wife asked me to withdraw some cash from the bank, and then told me to use the MasterCard Debit at the ATM and to not forget to remember the PIN, I’d find that rather insulting. I love your idea of clarity (I have four kids and am always refining my instructions), but at some point, I need to allow them to use some critical thinking skills to accomplish the task.

    1. Todd Post author

      Buck,

      Of course, you should always use good reason when you are using “clarify by.” But if there is a history of someone not understanding your instructions or if you believe you need to be more clear in your instructions, it is a good strategy to use.

      Peace,
      Todd

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