Magazine article Communication World

Making It Simple

Magazine article Communication World

Making It Simple

Article excerpt

It's not hard to come up with a long list of debacles--large and small, at every corner of the earth--that stemmed from a lack of clarity and resulted in some sort of misunderstanding. If clarity is the destination, then simplicity is the vessel. As Charles Mingus, the American jazz bassist, composer, bandleader and civil rights activist, so eloquently said, "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."

There's something magical about tackling a complicated problem by distilling it into its simplest form. John Finney, one of the finest communicators I know, recently reminded me about the importance of breaking messages down into three simple points. As I considered the model outlined by Martin J. Eppler in the Complex to Clear study, which is discussed in this issue, I considered the three basic requirements for clear communication, and this is what came to mind:

1. Understanding. What could be more important than understanding the audience with which we want to communicate? What motivates these people? What are their worries? What are their hopes and dreams? …

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