Communications: Get To The Point

I got to catch up with one of my first bosses tonight.  He taught me a lot about strategy, consulting, and people.

One of the lessons I never forgot was about communicating.  I don’t always do it, but he used to tell me two things:

  1. If you’re going to leave me a voicemail, tell me the key points in the first 30 seconds.
  2. If you send me an e-mail, make sure you get to the point in the first few sentences.  I’m only going to look at what I see in the window in outlook and won’t open it.
What did I learn?
  • Think ahead about what I’m going to say.
  • Layout my key points and why to listen to the rest of the message (or read the entire e-mail)
  • Just provide enough information to justify a call or meeting
I’m always surprised at how people talk on and on in voicemails and e-mails.  I’m sure I do sometimes also, but I’ve tried to continue to practice what I learned years ago.
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