Monthly Archives: March 2012

Organizing Our Thoughts for Quick Delivery and Impact

Hello fellow communication enthusiasts,
Today’s tip is on organizing one’s thoughts better so that we can speak faster and easier to others, especially when we are put on the spot or in a fast-paced work environment.
Think of your intended message as an iceberg, floating in the ocean.  We can see the tip from the land and sea, but we cannot see the rest of the iceberg, typically 90%, until we go under water.  We know it’s there but our first impression is based on the tip of the iceberg that we see. 
When you deliver a thought or message you essentially have 2 choices – to start with the 10% ‘point’ or the 90% ‘body’. 
Our goal should be to summarize our information into just the main point, and deliver it as precisely as possible and in as few sentences as possible.  After delivery, wait for a response to see if you need to continue into further details. 
For example, if someone asks you what you did on the weekend, you have two ways to answer:
1.  “I took the kids to the water park for some fun times.  It was great!”
2. “I took my 3 kids, Jack, Jill and Mary to Wave-O-Rama Water Park, you know the one just outside the city?  Anyway we spent the day walking around, looking at some interesting sites, of course playing in the water too!  They had slides, wading pools, water gun fighting and a bunch of other stuff.  It was great and I really recommend you take your family there soon!”
Now there is nothing wrong with #2 if the other person wanted all the extra info.  The challenge is in knowing if he or she really wanted all the details, right?  So it could be that you are giving valuable extra information, or it could be that you are giving what they consider non-important and boring extra information!  That’s tricky.
In answer #1 you have answered the question directly and precisely, and are now waiting and watching/listening to understand if your conversation partner wants any extra details.  They will ask if they want or need more info.  They will continue on if they do not.  Simple.
Our above example is a personal dialogue, but the iceberg theory of giving information or answering questions works very well in business discussions too.  So from now on, practice giving a shorter, more direct answer (with appropriate tone though) especially when you are in a busy or fast-paced environment.  It will save you and your conversation partner time and allow you to be better organized in the presentation of answers and information. 
That’s all for today folks. 
Thank you,
Coach Ric

York Region Article: YRT free for 2 months

I know this post is late – sorry about that. For those that do not know, York Region Transit had a 3-month strike which obviously inconvenienced a lot of riders. We Torontonians clearly remember a few TTC strikes, right? Anyway what makes this YRT strike interesting is that after the two sides finally settled their contract dispute, YRT offered (and is still offering) free rides on YRT until the end of this month (March 2012). Isn’t that amazing for transit users?That is a big step in the right direction towards great customer service. I’ve never heard of a city transit giving free rides after a strike – have you? If so please tell me by writing a comment below. Anyway I was very impressed by this gesture, even though some people do not agree with this act (see comments below of original article).

In an ideal world (at least according to most riders), transit would be considered an essential service and would never go on strike, at least not an extended one. But in the meantime, I find it refreshing to say the least that York Region gave back to its riders, when they did not have to. Way to go!

York Region Article: YRT free for 2 months
You will be able to ride York Region Transit for free for nearly two months starting Saturday.
York Region council committed to making the service free for at least one month but is now committing to go further.
Free service is available from Feb. 4 to March 31.
With ridership levels certain to drop following the three-month strike, the region hopes you’ll consider leaving your car at home for a change.
“If you used our buses before, we’re welcoming you back,” regional chairperson Bill Fisch said. “And if you have never experienced transit in York Region before, the next two months are a great opportunity to give it a try.” Continue reading here: