Have you ever being in a situation where you think nobody has understood you? Do you ever have problems because you didn’t clarify something enough, or because you consider something as self-evident? Well, so am I! It is embarrassing, actually, but I am guilty of not clarify something I thought it was obvious.
Nasty word! The word “obvious” I mean! It means something everyone sees it in the same way! But it is not so! Especially in the business area where you need many resources, an excellent implementation team and a lot of assistance to help you make a difference.
In business, it is important to clarify your goals, methods, procedures, and intentions in order to have the best possible results. Especially so, when you assign a task to someone or you delegate something to someone else!
What you would learn!
- The Roots Of The Problem
- There Is No Any Clarity System or a Tool You Can Use For Your Problem
- Clarity Is For Humans
- Clarity Is A Must
- Clarity Is About SMART Goals
The problem lays in what you can call it: “self-evidentially“! It is a concept you can loosely define as something (fact, item, situation, status, etc.) does not need any scrutiny since it is “apparently so**”! Not good definition, I know but it would suffice for now! You can handle it as something it is clear and widely understood by everyone in the same way.
Clarity is defined in many ways. It generally understood as:
: the quality of being easily understood
: the quality of being expressed, remembered, understood, etc., in a very exact way
: the quality of being easily seen or heard
(Merriam Webster: Clarity)
but none of these definitions helps you to structure a better, more clear and effective, communication (by communication I mean any form of oral, written, typical, or atypical, formal or informal communication can convey a clear message to the other party)!
Self-evidentiality (a similar concept to clarity) lays in the allegedly “obviousness” or the clarity of something! Perhaps it is an event or a fact we have already talked about, we have discussed in detail, we coped with a certain manner, or we handle it in a specific way. But Self-evidentiality as clarity is focused more on the process of communication on what you convey rather on the static nature of a fact or event!
This kind of process, the effort to be clear, when fails generate, sometimes, a strange feeling! As the one you can experience when you are speaking the whole day for something you thought everybody of your listeners would understand, but at the end of the day you have found out that they have actually not!
It is a situation I have been in during a presentation and, by the questions received, I realized that my listeners were not in the same pace with me! In a market-oriented talk is easy to misunderstand when you use conventions, symbols, and jargon you use just (or exclusively) to your niche market! Especially so, when you are in the position to define your market and you need to be extra careful on the messages you want to convey to your associates and to your clients!
The main problem with the mental models we handle such and similar situations is that we have never questioned the particular event or situation! We generally assume it as an “obvious” or a “crystal clear” one!
At a normal way of thinking (either as a habit and/or as a mental “normal processed” situation) you can think many things as “obvious” and nothing would make you to questioning if this particular “obvious” one is true for this situation or not!
The problem is, that there is no a magic recipe, or a peculiar clarity system, or a “one-size-fits-all” clarity tool if you like, to help you do more efficient your job and communicate the proper messages to the proper people! Or, I have to admit, that rather exist many different systems and tools which can channel your efforts in providing the necessary clarity in your everyday life and business!
Without a clear direction, a well-articulated why and a defined output in any given course of action you should choose, you would have a huge problem (but not a single solution). And this brings indecisiveness! And you would have it in many situations either in professional or in a personal level.
You would have problems when you develop, lead or manage a project, an activity or a task to convey the project’s goals, and the required (intended) outputs to the members of the working groups; when you delegate something and the delegee assumes a work cannot understand what he/she has to do; when you communicate with an associate and you cannot give him/her understand what it is expected of him; when you make an appointment and you are unclear as to where and when it is going to happen, because you think it “obvious” or usual or just because you have said “at the usual place“!
All these situations demand clarity and you are the one person, responsible for providing it!
Clarity though is not an abstract construct you can use when it is convenient. It is something that must saturate your whole character and your activities. It is something that makes you a reliable associate and would make the other people trust you in business as in life!
That means, that during your communication (oral or written), you cannot use any jargon or complex terminology, and you certainly you cannot use something is dubious (to say the least) or offensive to the other party.
If you want to achieve clarity in your communication and your activities you need to to do a lot of things. These involve vision development, strategy drafting, decision-making, planning, operation clarity (check again the word!), leadership, scheduling, writing, and management skills among many other competencies, not all of which you may be responsible for. But the tasks should be completed and you may find yourself the owner of this particular process.
How would you proceed?
Let’s see how clarity operates (or should operate) in a delegation process, something you need to do in your work, because, you know, you cannot do all things by yourself. You are going to need help to complete a certain work at the designated amount of time!
Let’s say you need help for a specific task. To make the things more interesting, let’s assume the specific task is characterized as a finish-to-start by the project manager, and it is very critical to finished on time. In order to have the results you want, you will need the help of someone else to help you accomplish this particular task.
To do that, you should take a decision to:
- delegate the task or ask for more help
- assign it to someone else and remove yourself off the hook
- defer the task (not possible due to the scheduling of the project)
- omit the task (not possible due to the scheduling of the project)
- archive it (not feasible)
- go for a cup of coffee and think it further (not plausible!)
The only efficient solution for you for achieving your and project’s goals (I assume are the same) is to delegate the task or assign it to someone else (the 1 & 2 options).
In order to delegate or assign the task you should be crystal clear on what the other person should do (job/task description), how to do it (what procedures, resources or infrastructure he/she will use) and what you expect as results (output) until the specific timeframe you set for the task (the deadline of this particular task).
To employ such a procedure (delegation or assign the task to someone else) you need to:
- be proactive
- summon someone expert or suitable for the task at hand and
- take the initiative for launching something the activity
- provide clear directions on the process and the results expected
- delegate in a proper (effective) manner to the suitable person/people
- have a better grip on the situation at stake, and
- have a “clarity system” in place (to have a system or a process someone can follow without your aid)
These are the assumptions you have to think about and can help you to achieve a better communication in your personal and business life.
But, maybe, are not enough, because, clarity is:
not only about to know what you have to say, but also to include the why (motive/inspiration) and the whom (who is the owner of the task/activity and to whom this activity is directed!) in the equation (Clarity Is A Must!)
In order to achieve clarity in your communication in a business framework, you would also need:
- to set clear and measurable objectives and results,
- familiarization with the specifics, problems, and/or requirements of the other party,
- knowledge and focus towards your audience,
- the desire to provide solutions and value to the people you cooperate or communicate with,
- realization of your intentions and awareness of your limits and constraints along with your advantages,
- a strategy of negotiating the specific details of the task/activity with the other involved parties, and, finally,
- to know EXACTLY what you want from any (or the) given situation and how to gain it (within your personal value and belief system and withing the scope of the project you implement).
At the end of the day, at a business and at a personal level you need clarity in many different situations to help you do your work more effectively, cooperate more efficiently and provide all the necessary clues and handles to the people you are associated with (either your business cooperators or the members of your family).
You will also need to incorporate all the principles and initiatives you have to decide that help you to achieve clarity and achieve your goals in your everyday rituals!
To do that, more effectively and using some of the “clarity” tools and systems modern decision making and management theory provide us, you will need to set more cleverly your goals and resources for any given situation.
Question: What Clarity means for you? How to gain clarity? You can leave your comments to the comment section!