TRANSFORMING MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS INTO CONFIDENT COMMUNICATORS AND LEADERS

Clarify Your Outcomes to Clarify Your Message
Published 08 November 2021
Clarify Your Outcomes to Clarify Your Message  | Amy Jackson - Nurturing Confidence
One of Steve Covey’s keys to success was to

“Begin with the end in mind”.

It’s a key principle that still holds and I think we could apply much more often than we do.

If we spend a few moments longer, in deeper thought with ourselves, really clarifying what it is that we want to achieve, we can find ourselves progressing with clearer focus, and with more resilience to holding uncertainty in our constantly changing workplaces.

It’s not the detailed plan of how we are going to achieve that outcome that I am worried about. Plans change, constantly, and are rarely robust enough to cope with the complex reality of our work lives. But a clear sense of the broader picture of what we are trying to achieve as an organisation, in our relationships, on this particular day, can help us stay on track – whatever shape emerges in that track as we progress.

Clarity in Action

John comes to me frustrated with the overly technical content that his team member is trying to share with the business.

“ What can I do to fix this?”

My first response is – “What is the outcome that you are trying to achieve?”. 

  • If we want a great report sent out this afternoon, then we might need to simply re-write the content ourselves and get it out.
  • If we want to develop our team member’s skill set so they better understand how to communicate with the business, then we might need to support them through the re-write.
  • If we want John to work on his assertiveness skills, then we might need to discuss the situation directly with the team member.  

The strategy we take for solving the same problem can be significantly different, depending on the outcome that is most important for us to achieve in the current context. 

 Jenny comes to me confused over the collaboration she is working on – her colleague has started the project with a completely different approach to the one she would take.

“What can I do about it?” 
Well..."What are you trying to achieve here?”  

  • Do you both know what you are trying to achieve through the collaboration?
  • Do you need to build a strong relationship with this colleague?
  • Do you need to build your reputation across the organisation through this piece of work?
  • Do you need to use this project to practise your assertiveness?  

Clarify the outcome that you want, clarify the outcome that you want to achieve together, and you will find the pathway through much clearer. If nothing else, you at least have a measuring post against which to compare your options!

 

As you sit down to figure out what is most important to get done this week, as you try to prepare the presentation for next week, as you sit down to work through a problem with your boss – start with this very simple question to yourself:  

“What am I really trying to achieve here?”  

It will bring you greater clarity of message, a clearer path to decision making, and stronger focus on your priorities, whatever they may be.
Clarify Your Outcomes to Clarify Your Message
Published 08 November 2021
One of Steve Covey’s keys to success was to

“Begin with the end in mind”.

It’s a key principle that still holds and I think we could apply much more often than we do.

If we spend a few moments longer, in deeper thought with ourselves, really clarifying what it is that we want to achieve, we can find ourselves progressing with clearer focus, and with more resilience to holding uncertainty in our constantly changing workplaces.

It’s not the detailed plan of how we are going to achieve that outcome that I am worried about. Plans change, constantly, and are rarely robust enough to cope with the complex reality of our work lives. But a clear sense of the broader picture of what we are trying to achieve as an organisation, in our relationships, on this particular day, can help us stay on track – whatever shape emerges in that track as we progress.

Clarity in Action

John comes to me frustrated with the overly technical content that his team member is trying to share with the business.

“ What can I do to fix this?”

My first response is – “What is the outcome that you are trying to achieve?”. 

  • If we want a great report sent out this afternoon, then we might need to simply re-write the content ourselves and get it out.
  • If we want to develop our team member’s skill set so they better understand how to communicate with the business, then we might need to support them through the re-write.
  • If we want John to work on his assertiveness skills, then we might need to discuss the situation directly with the team member.  

The strategy we take for solving the same problem can be significantly different, depending on the outcome that is most important for us to achieve in the current context. 

 Jenny comes to me confused over the collaboration she is working on – her colleague has started the project with a completely different approach to the one she would take.

“What can I do about it?” 
Well..."What are you trying to achieve here?”  

  • Do you both know what you are trying to achieve through the collaboration?
  • Do you need to build a strong relationship with this colleague?
  • Do you need to build your reputation across the organisation through this piece of work?
  • Do you need to use this project to practise your assertiveness?  

Clarify the outcome that you want, clarify the outcome that you want to achieve together, and you will find the pathway through much clearer. If nothing else, you at least have a measuring post against which to compare your options!

 

As you sit down to figure out what is most important to get done this week, as you try to prepare the presentation for next week, as you sit down to work through a problem with your boss – start with this very simple question to yourself:  

“What am I really trying to achieve here?”  

It will bring you greater clarity of message, a clearer path to decision making, and stronger focus on your priorities, whatever they may be.