Simplify your communication.

We’ve all heard the saying “make the complex simple.” In a world of soundbites and shrinking attention spans, this is not just a motto for Lipton teabag tags -- it’s a leadership imperative.

Your ability to net out the message is crucial for others to understand what you are saying or asking  them to do.  If your communication is muddied by a sea of detail, corporate-speak or circular logic, people will be challenged to sort out the essential from the nonessential, and they will shut down.  They just don’t want to work that hard.

Start with your summary statement – a crisp expression of your bottom line (the “what”).  Then, move to a succinct description of the rationale (the “why”) and what it means to them. Then, if appropriate, tackle the “how.”  By following this basic framework, you can help ensure that your messages stay at the right level.

As you craft your messages, challenge yourself to use language that is conversational – simple, approachable and easy to grasp.  This will increase the likelihood that your audience will get it  (immediately) and remember it.

You are competing for mindshare in an environment of message overload.  People are bombarded with communication of all kinds.  As the saying goes, don’t bury the lead.  Your job is to make it easy for others to understand and act!

Today, ask yourself, “how can I simplify my communication?”