- What do we (actually) need to say?
- Why do we need to say it?
The first question forces people to define their intention. The second, better still, forces them to question the purpose of their intention.
Clear intentions; clear purpose. A surprisingly rare combination in many companies.
But in “real life”, knowing what it is you want to say before you come out and say it is considered a basic prerequisite to good communication.
A person described as someone who “speaks before they think”—that normally alludes to a rash, impulsive communicator. The result often being unpredictable, perhaps even offensive, outcomes for others. Not good.
In a similar way, being clear on an intended outcome is a necessary condition to being able to evaluate whether an endeavour is worthwhile.
If an office boss instructed an employee to carry out an unusual task—say, run around the block ten times, or stand still holding a stack of books for an hour—without explaining what the purpose was, you’d hope that nobody would accept such a request at face value.
And yet. Behaviour not that dissimilar to the above has become an accepted norm, a defining feature of digital output, among businesses. Being online, it might be less physically explicit—but no less absurd.
Content is a vehicle for communication. And many of us have been pumping out masses of the stuff, without any real sense of what it is it’s trying to say—and more crucially, what meaningful purpose it exists to serve.
Impulsivity is a habit. When we break the default impulse to pass on the internal complexity, the relentless internal “flow” of information, within our organisations to our audiences, it opens up a space for an alternative habit to take its place.
For instance, the habit of being selective in order to communicate with intention, and publish with a purpose that genuinely adds value.
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