Communication and Clarity

Over the last several years I have noticed a correlation between the way an individual communicates and the results that they achieve, (from themselves or others). I believe it can be visualized on the axis below. The more clarity someone has and the more effective their communications the greater their results.


Clarity Communication Axis








Confused – Low clarity and low communication skills. This is the communicator that is not quite sure what they are about. They move from one initiative to another always trying to find the right path. And because they aren’t clear and they often communicate as an afterthought the people around them often have no idea what they are about or what they want.

Misunderstood – High clarity and low communication skills. This individual knows what they want. They are after it. But because they are too busy to communicate or because they aren’t very good at it they are often misunderstood. It’s like telling someone to, “Bring me a dog.” One might bring a Spaniel, another may bring a Terrier and yet the leader was clear in their mind that they wanted a Long Haired Chihuahua.

Aimless – High communication low clarity.  This person is not at all clear on what they want and yet they can sound articulate and polished. Yet when they are done communicating the audience is left asking. “Did I miss something?” or as my wife says, “It leaves them feeling like they ate a Twinkie

Influence – High communication and high clarity. This is where the communicator is clear on the outcomes they are seeking in the communication and they are clear in their communication. People are moved into action.

I think we can all think of times when we were in each of these quadrants. For example – Aimless – I recall a business partnership meeting where I presented my business plan and how I was going to get to my goals. Because I am a presenter and trainer my language and communication skills were spot on. My clarity…well let’s say they called BS.  (That’s another story).

Or there was a big deal with an Academic Medical Center. My company had been terminated a few years earlier for poor performance. Yet through persistence and good proposal writing we got another seat at the deal table. Because I was clear, (I wanted this deal) and I coached the presentation team and we were candid with the customer about our history; we beat the odds and won the deal. A good example of how clarity of goal and good communications leads to Influence.

What space are you communicating from?


Copyright 2016 John Gies | All Rights Reserved

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