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The Most Important Question

The Most Important Question

The Most Important Question

There is a question that everyone should be prepared to ask.

It is, "When you say that, what do you MEAN, specifically?"

If you say, "I believe in a fair wage, for everyone", then the people should reply, "What do you mean by a "fair wage?"

If you write, "Sam, when you come to the meeting, please ensure you bring with you all the relevant papers".

Then Sam is bound to wonder, "When he says, relevant papers, what does he mean, specifically?"

Stand ready to answer the question, or better still, pre-empt the question, by supplying the additional detail that will remedy any confusion or ambiguity.

Go through your message and identify any words or phrases that have the potential to be misunderstood or mis-represented and then either, reword your message, or elaborate upon your exact meaning.

Failure to properly explain your exact meaning will lead to painful consequences.

If you fail to explain your ideas properly you run the risk of:

  • Being misunderstood.
  • Being misrepresented.
  • Losing your credibility as a knowledgeable person.
  • Losing your power to persuade people.

Be ready to ASK the same question.

"When you say that, what do you mean specifically".

When listening to others, don't guess at their meaning.

Don't assume they mean what you think they mean.

If you are not sure about the exact meaning, then ask them to elucidate!

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Further Reading in Communication - Clear Communication

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