My mother asked (and so did yours)
many times do I have to repeat myself?"
I answered, " 'Bout a million".
At age 12, I was no wise man, just a wise guy. But if
asked, a wise man would have told me then that
repetition is good for communication.
This bears repeating: Repetition is good for
And put another way, say it many times in different
ways to get the message across.
You, just like me, are probably excellent at giving
instructions, relaying messages and expressing your
point of view. Your thoughts are verbalized or written
in a way that makes perfect sense.
Why is it then that our perfect instructions are so
You say to your employee: "Clean all of the
stalls and check water buckets." Your employee
through the stalls, adds bedding where he feels
appropriate and fills only the water buckets that are
less than half full.
You are astonished that all of the stalls are not
at the same level and that all of the water
buckets are not full.
You say to your riding student: "Use more
inside leg and push him out in the corners."
Five minutes later the student complains, "He keeps
cutting in on the corners, I don't know what to do."
You say to the prospective horse
purchaser: "This mare is a talented athlete that
wins in the show ring, but she has a low tolerance for
a beginner rider."
Ten minutes later the prospective buyer asks, "She'll
be OK with my young children in walk-trot classes?"
Failed communication is more common than
So how do you improve your communication in
business, with friends and at home?
- Ask the listener to repeat the directions back to
- Summarize the key points at the close of your
- Rephrase the communication several ways
- Deliver the communication in verbal and written
The following recommendation is repeatedly offered
to public speakers for delivering an effective talk:
- Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em.
- Tell 'em. Body
- Tell ' em what you told 'em.
Need I say more?
Of course, and I will another way on a different day.