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Communicating Clearly

Where & When

There is a time and place for everything. If your colleague is famished and rushing off for lunch at 3pm in the afternoon, this is no right time to catch him for a long discussion on how to plan for an event! He would be so distracted he will not be putting his best foot in for this discussion. As a rule of thumb, heavier topics could be left early afternoons after lunch when one is recharged by food. Light topics for evenings when they are already drained.

Also, if you are going give some negative feedback to your colleague, you would want to choose somewhere more private to minimise embarrassment (or anger) on his part. Somewhere with as little distractions, be it phone or other colleagues looking for small talk, would be preferred too.

Key Points

If you are not sure of the message you wish to pass along, how do you expect your peer to understand too? Have the key points in your mind before even starting on the conversation. If you have time, go through it mentally too. Make sure whatever you are building up to follows the preceding steps. Don't assume he will get it.


Giving examples help draw from experience and, at times, it paints a picture much clearer than you describing for an entire hour. For example, if you are holding an event and wish to do the same as how it was conducted last year, simply let your colleague know you want it to be just like last year's! That is, if he was around for that event as well. If you want changes, then add on using the previous year's event as well.


Sometimes people don't really understand what you are trying to relate well enough though they may think they do. In such situation, save yourself the frustration and trouble of having to repeat yourself as well as wasting time and resources, ask him questions to ensure he has really understood.

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