Many years ago, there was an episode of the TV show, “60 Minutes,” that featured a woman who is a dog trainer. Episode after episode featured a family who arrived with a “problem dog,” that wasn’t a problem. The problem was with the owner who didn’t know what they were doing and thus got poor results.
I have been participating in a 30-day leadership challenge during October. Our head coach, Alain Hunkins, offered a very easy to follow formula for improving our communications with people.
The acronym he used was SUMS.
Keep what you say SIMPLE. Too often we use slang, shortcuts, terms, or overly embellished language to communicate with others. Keep it simple. As I’ve said before, if you can’t explain it in two or three sentences, you don’t understand it.
Keeping it simple makes it UNDERSTANDABLE. That is why were communicating, right? We want someone to understand what we’re telling them so they can do it.
There are many ways to make our message MEMORABLE. A smile. A wink. Asking people to explain back what it is that you asked him to do. Telling a joke.
Lastly, make your request SPECIFIC. Too often, what we ask for is vague and we get responses back that are dissatisfying all because we were not specific with what we wanted.
The people we lead are often the least of our problems. Usually, the problem is with us.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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