Part Four

Being BRIEF

Summary and Action Plan

Let's not forget the constant risk of reverting to bad, long-winded habits.

Since you're aiming to master the art of clear and concise communications—something others crave—we need a practical and personal plan of action to succeed. Now that you've seen the underlying whys, hows, and whens to being lean communicators, I have formulated some TIPs (truths, implications, plans/practices) to help you deliver the real impact of less is more.

Here are several BRIEF principles to keep top of mind to help you remain on track. Read them over and pick a few that catch your eye and that will have the most immediate impact on you.

1. Your attention, please. Manage the Elusive 600 (the excess mental capacity we all have and where inattention lives); it's your responsibility.
a. Truth: We are all inundated with information and distracted easily.
b. Implication: You're responsible for managing people's attention, that is, how they hear and understand you.
c. Plan and practice:
i. Watch a reality TV show for 5 minutes and write down or use a voice recorder to capture all the thoughts that race through your Elusive 600.
ii. During the next few conversations you have, note mentally where and when people's Elusive 600 starts to leak (when it becomes too much information).
2. Why, why, why? Get to the reason quickly, and revisit it.
a. Truth: “Why?” is the most important question that's frequently missing from our communication.
b. Implication: People ...

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