The gift of clarity


I wish I could tell some of the people I sometimes work for as a consultant that expecting a clear brief, delivered coherently and if possible in a courteous fashion is not only an old fashioned attribute.

It is the basic minimum one has a right to expect and a duty to give. Not only because we are at times bound together in a contract of work deliverables but also because we are simply fellow human beings.

And yet of course the exigencies of circumstance, professional compulsions and the force of discretion stops me from being so blunt.

What I think is not understood is that being in a rush, or worse, wanting to seem to be in a rush, having too much on one’s plate and a generally patronising approach to ‘everyone else’ undermines one’s own professional competence.

It sets off a chain of sorry consequences where a badly thought of brief, poorly and impatiently delivered has the recipient scurrying around trying to fathom and crack the codes in which you have spoken instead of spending time on the actual task at hand — whether it is writing up a report, cleaning poorly written copy or jazzing up dull, flat text.

But I have also found its far better to leave people to their ways so they discover at some point that taking time out to think something through, with clarity will help them articulate it more coherently and lead eventually to much better end results.

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