By Steve McKinneyPresident, McKinney Consulting, Inc.February, 2011It is said that brevity is the soul of wit. Certainly brevity is important to much more than just comedy. Communications of all types can benefit from being shorter and more impactful. But is brevity something worth focusing on when there are so many other concerns weighing on your spoken and written communications?Brevity for brevity's sake? Maybe not. But brevity doesn't come to the party alone. It is usually escorted by a slew of other elusive benefits often sought and not found. Invite brevity onto your priority list and you might just find that simplicity, clarity, power, sincerity, and discipline will come too, and in these qualities are the keys to reaching your audience and communicating with effect.Here are the unseen benefits of brevity, point by point. Read On.1. Simplicity, To be brief you have to simplify. If you can't make something simple, you don't really understand it yourself. Occam's Razor says, "the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one". Einstein said, "“Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler." Simplicity in communications is a telltale sign of truth and confidence. 2. Clarity. The elevator speech - cut out everything that is not essential. Distill your message down to its key components. Yes, this will make your message brief, but more importantly it will allow you to clarify your thinking. It will allow you determine and verify what your message, and your business are all about. Is your message too complicated to put in an elevator speech? Maybe it's too complicated to communicate. Maybe it's too complicated for your customers to understand. 3. Sincerity. Suddenly you stop talking. Can your story pass the silence test? If you can't stop talking and still have the idea fly, the idea probably isn't as good as you think it is. Long painful persuasion shouldn't be required. How comfortable are you when the silence lingers, and lingers, and lingers? Are you dying to say something more or are you confident that the message will stand on its own merits? 4. Power. Spit it out. Proceed directly to the point. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Remember the game Monopoly? Remember how direct and well-written the cards in Community Chest or Chance piles were? Those sentences had authority. Those sentences had power and impact. They were brief and they were hyper-relevant to the reader and everyone else at the table! Those are the sentences you want. 5. Discipline. Practice. Practice. Practice. Being brief is more difficult than being long-winded. It takes more practice, more work, and more energy. It takes real discipline. Blaise Pascal once said, "I made this letter very long, because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter." By practicing to be brief, you practice to receive all the the benefits of being brief. So try to be brief! I bet you will become a better communicator.
Steven B. McKinney is the founder and president of McKinney Consulting Inc., who has over 12 years of experience as an Executive Search Consultant & is a Certified Master Coach. He serves on several boards including the American Chamber of Commerce-Korea and was bestowed Honorary Citizen of Seoul in 2007. Prior to the establishment of McKinney Consulting he had over 10 years of senior leadership experience in athletic footwear company giants, Adidas, Reebok and Converse etc.About McKinney Consulting: McKinney Consulting is an executive search firm (sometimes simplified as executive recruiters or headhunters) which has placed hundreds of bi-lingual middle-senior level executives for multinational companies in Korea & Asia and was established in 2001. McKinney Consulting is a member of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC). In addition, McKinney Consulting provides behavioral-based coaching services with scientifically developed tools in coaching executives and businesses to excellence and success. McKinney Consulting coaches are members of the International Coaching Council. Also, McKinney offers Talent Management services such as the outsourcing of candidates and payroll services etc.
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is an executive search firm (sometimes simplified as executive recruiters, or headhunters) which places bi-lingual middle-senior level executives for multinational companies in Korea & Asia.McKinney Consulting also provides coaching services which are behavioral-based with scientifically developed tools in coaching executives and businesses to excellence and success.