Precision – a new approach to communication

This is the title of a book on business communication by Michael McMaster and John Grinder. It is one of the best books on this subject. It talks about how to obtain high quality information in business. For example: common business terms such as productivity, motivation, and profit are used often in a business setting and yet these terms are “low quality” words in that different people have different ideas of what these terms mean to them based on their own past experience. The highest quality is what can actually be seen, heard or felt. Compare these two statements: “Our machines are not very productive.” and “Machine #42 operated by Tom only works half of the time.” Which statement is more precise and has better quality information for you to take action?

According to the authors of this interesting book, “many management mistakes are the results of acting on a belief in a common understanding of words which, in fact, does not exist.” Misunderstanding occurs when people are not precise in communicating ideas. The same holds in presentation. When you make your point in a PowerPoint presentation, you want to be as precise as possible so that your audience will understand exactly what you are trying to convey. That’s why a three-word bullet point will not work.  Instead you should describe your point in a short sentence and reinforce that point with a visual presentation (a photo) that is relevant to the topic. You are trying to make a point that can be seen, heard or felt by your audience.

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