Talk Down to Your Boss!

© 2015 Warren Martin. All Rights Reserved.

© 2015 Warren Martin. All Rights Reserved.

I have found that if you make something simple enough for a child to understand it, sometimes adults can get it too! It is the skill of making complicated ideas simple that empowers conversation!

Let's face it; most people (perhaps all people) think they are smarter than they are and pretend to be smarter than they think they are. As a consequence, we often seek out the most complicated and intellectual way to explain something. Our efforts often tend to fall on deaf ears.

The reality is most people are more concerned about what they are thinking than what you are saying. When we listen to someone speak, we are generally more concerned about what we are going to say in response than understanding what they are telling us. Therefore, as soon as your comments become the least bit unclear, the other person's attention will shift from you to their own thoughts.

The key is to make a complex/abstract idea simple and concrete. That requires that we constantly develop our communication skills. It is vital to develop the skilled use of analogy, simile and metaphor. These tools simplify and clarify communication. Effective communication is NOT A GIFT you are endowed with from birth. There has yet to be born a child that stood up in the delivery room and rattled off a speech. You have to be taught how to speak. It is a learned skill. It is a skill you develop with practice. Continuous development in this arena is necessary for effective communication.

I'm not advocating talking to your boss like you would a second-grader. However, using complex, ambiguous language doesn't make you seem more intelligent ... it usually just causes people to stop listening to you.

We need to learn to talk down to people. We have to learn to bring things down to the simplest and most concrete expression. That is powerful!

History is filled with stories of individuals who are consider to be the "first" to accomplish a task. Columbus was not the first to sail to the New World, but effective communication of his crossing established him in that role. However, I now live in America because Amerigo Vespucci was even better at communicating his activities in the form of a book that spread far and wide. This led to cartographer Martin Waldseemuller designating the New World as America rather than Columbia.

Ideas alone do not change the world. Effective communication of ideas is what changes the world.


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About Warren Martin

WARREN MARTIN is a philosophy graduate of Texas Tech University. He is an author, teacher, minister, artist, quasi-philosopher and speaker known for his unique teaching style. His passion is to share the grace of Christ and to inspire & invest in the next generation of leaders. Learn more here...