A Few Words – Sort of Like Riding a Bike

Ink and bleach on pastel paper – Words: Apocryphia

As many of you know, I am a talker. I like to talk and it is how I process through ideas, challenges, most everything. I have also learned the down side of this preference, which means I have to find better ways to communicate outside of using lots of words. Experience has taught me that short, strong words then silence is a most effective vehicle for messages. Leave people thinking instead of leaving them overwhelmed by too many words. It is a skill I have learned over many years of facilitating and presentations.

I mentor people like me, who like words and using them. As I watch them grow in their own adventures and careers I see them learning this same lesson. The right, strong, clear words can make more of an impact than too many words. The hard part is thinking less words, more powerful words over just a multitude of words. For people who process by talking they need to engage their brains more and talk less.

I also mentor the other side of this preference, those who do not like to speak and would rather think and write out their thoughts. They have a depth of knowledge, and a fear of speaking so they usually sit quietly and respond later…think, process, write, contribute. Great method, not always understood as it seems they are behind the crowd with nothing to ‘say’ thus making them look unengaged or uninterested. I encourage this group to speak up, even if it is just letting people know they are thinking it all through. A few powerful words to let people know they are with them, and it gives them time to process after the conversation without seeming unengaged.

In other words – pun intended – a few words serves both sides of the coin. The talker uses fewer words so people can keep up and the listener uses a few words to let people know they are listening. So no matter which way is your preference, comprehending much in a few words is a fabulous way to communicate and get your point across. It take practice, thought, and the confidence to execute it on a regular basis. Sort of like riding a bike, the more you do it the more natural it becomes.

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