Jessica McGregor Johnson looks at why ‘Clarity is Power’
How often you do you think you have said something or asked for something only to find that the person you are speaking with has not got what you said at all? And this can be at work or in your personal life – it is sometimes the same challenge.
Asking for what you want, and asking clearly, is often a theme in my conversations with my clients. Straight out asking for what we want can, to some, feel uncomfortable. Often we have been taught to put ourselves last and not make demands. However, in life or in business we need to be able to ask for what we want. Not only that we need to be understood.
This is crucial because the measure of the clarity demonstrates also what you feel about what you want to create. If you cannot state clearly what it is that you want, or want done, then how can anyone else understand you?
I attended a great business program a while ago and one of the sections of the program was fine-tuning my presentation about what I offer so that it was really clear and concise. It was an interesting process that went through many evolutions. And it took lots of practice, standing in front of a mirror repeating the 3-minute presentation until it became so clear that it was easy to talk about it, whenever or wherever I needed to. What I have noticed is that the clearer I have become about what I offer the more interested people have become too.
As T Harv Eker says – “Clarity is power”. And I have noticed that this is true. When you talk with this level of clarity about anything you are asking for you are much more likely to get what you want. How clear are we in our requests whether it is in our work or our relationships?
In your personal life if you can ask clearly for what you want then that helps your relationships hugely too. Many times I speak with women who say they want to be in a relationship but they are not totally clear about what kind of relationship they want or the type of person they wish to be with. Guess what they create? Definitely not something that satisfies them! You need to have clarity about the kind of relationship you wish for in your life. Fuzzy thinking creates fuzzy results – definitely not what we want in life. And once you are in that relationship you still need to take care of how you communicate too.
Not only is it important to be able to ask for what you want, but you also want others to be able to hear you too. There are two major types of listeners and speakers. These are the inferential and the literal. The classic example of this is a conversation between an ‘inferential’ manager and a ‘literal’ team member
Inferential manager: “It would be useful to have those stats” (meaning can you prepare those stats)
Literal team member: “Yes, I think it would”
Inferential manager: “Last year it helped with preparing the budget” (meaning I’d like you to do it for the budget)
Literal team member: “Yes I remember”
Inferential manager: “It made all the difference” (I’d like you to prepare them now)
Literal team member: “umhm”
And it is not until the Manager says “Please prepare them for me and have them on my desk by Monday” that the team member finally gets it and says “Yes, of course”. By this time the Manager is exasperated! And this scenario plays itself out in personal relationships too.
So not only do you we have to be clear in what we say but it is also useful to notice how someone receives what we say. If you find yourself in a situation in which you think you are asking for what you want but you are not getting it – then stop and see where you are not connecting. Are you inferring what you want rather than asking for it?
Being able to ask for what you want in your life with crystal clear clarity, is crucial. Feeling comfortable and confident to ask for it is also key. If any of this is ringing bells for you take a moment and see if you can identify where the miscommunication was. Once you identify that you can take the appropriate action to address it and make your life – and theirs – so much easier.