Friday, June 4, 2010


One of the challenges people in general and teachers in particular grapple with is to make their communciation SIMPLE. The key here is to ensure that Something Informative is Made Plain Lucid and Easy. No doubt it is easier said than done for it takes a special effort to ensure that things can be made simple. However if we have closely studied the more popular teachers in school or some of the exceptional tuition teachers in coaching classes, we would observe that it is their ability to simplify the complicated, the difficult made to look easy and their lucid explanations that endear them to us.

We must take a cue from them and develop our own style to ensure that our communication, interaction, explanations are SIMPLE, for then it can be quickly grasped, understood and acted upon by the receiver. One of the difficulties that impede our ability to be simple is our obsessive need to sound intelligent and articulate. In this process, we end up using jargon, buzzwords and acronyms to show off our superiority. Most times we end up alienating our audience, confusing them and making them feel inadequate, which ultimately leads them to abandon the interaction lest they make a fool of themselves.

The most common problem in simplifying matters is our own lack of preparation and effort. If we want to ensure understanding, it is critical that we understand our audience their abilities and their grasp of the subject. This understanding should be put in perspective when we draw up our communication so as to ensure that we do not alienate them during the process of communication. All this takes effort and we need to ask ourselves if we have that kind of zeal and motivation. Our inability to put the receiver of the communication first, invariably leads to a situation where we assume too much about the receiver. Consequentially we alienate them because they find us too high flown and perhaps a wee bit too intellectual for their tastes.

Using all the forms of communication available appropriately, be it visual, audio, verbal, non verbal, olfactory will ensure simple and effective communication. Equally important is the use of appropriate words and visuals to reinforce the communication and ensure it is understood in the correct context. Thus simplifying communication is quite a challenge but there is great sense of satisfaction when Something Informative is Made Plain Lucid and Easy and they respond with enthusiasm and glee.

Action Points:
  1. Identify the various words in this write up that you are not familiar with and look up their meanings in the dictionary. Also try to find out the synonyms of those words. This will be one way you can improve your vocabulary.
  2. Make a team of 3 persons. Now attempt to play a game called ‘What is the right word?’ The rules are simple. Person 1 will write a word on a chit and give it to Person 2, who will then get three chances to say a word that is closest in meaning to the word on the chit. Person 3 has to guess the word on the chit using the hints given by Person 2. You can decide how many clues Person 2 can give. Ideally the word is to be identified in three tries. eg. Word given is RUSH. Clues could be Haste, Run, Urgent, Speed etc.
If you have more people then make teams of twos and nominate one person to be the person giving the original word to each team of two. 

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