Communicating Productively

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”

~ William Butler Yeats

Communicating Productively

By Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

Communication is speaking, being heard and understood and getting the response you want. Without getting the response you want from your listener you have not communicated and your speaking was not productive.

A lot of that response is not achieved because we fail to speak productively. We sometimes speak assumptively, turning off our listeners.

Here’s three ways to quickly turn your listeners off and not get the responses you seek from speaking in the first place.

As you know….” Unless you know for sure that I know, don’t tell me what I know because if I don’t know, I feel uninformed. I failed somewhere along the way to know what you thought I should have known. Why didn’t I get to know what I should have known?

As many of you know…” If I’m not one of the many, the few in the know, I feel marginalized because you’re just talking to those many and few who know, which does not include me. I’m left out. I’m not a part of that exclusive club.

“As most of you know…” Now that’s a real self-esteem builder. If I’m not in the know, and most around me are, I feel I really messed up because most know it and I don’t and you assumed I did so not only did I not know it, I disappointed your expectations for me. How could I have gone so wrong?

Rid your vocabulary of these three prefaces. Get to your point instead. Speak more productively.

And while we’re at it, let’s eliminate, “And without further ado…” because to say that creates further ado.

Copyright (c) 2012 all rights reserved.  Don Wetmore can be reached at

Coaching Call To Action

What do you notice about your audience when you are speaking?  Are they engaged or are they turned off and glassy eyed?  This week examine how you are speaking to others.  Are you getting the response you want?  If not, what will you do to speak more productively?