Is That Clear?

Chapter 106 of the book Self-Help Stuff That Works

by Adam Khan:

"I TOLD HIM I NEEDED some of his staff to cover things so we could have our meeting," Ann said, "but did he volunteer anyone? No. And then today at the meeting, the supervisor asked him when he was going to have his meeting and he had the gall to say, 'As soon as Ann loans me the staff to cover it.' I don't get it!"

She doesn't get it. A lot of people don't get it. That's why I will urge you for the sake of your sanity and effectiveness to be overly clear when you talk to people because they tend to assume they understand when they don't. It is in your best interest to be too thorough when communicating to people. It makes you more effective.

-"Don't use the one on the right," you say. "It's being repaired. Only use the one on the left."
-"Sure. No problem."
-"That machine didn't work," he tells you.
-"Which one did you use?" you ask.
-"The one on the right."
-"I told you to use the one on the left!"
-"No you didn't. Remember? You said I should only use the one on the right. -That's what you said, I swear!"

People sometimes aren't listening very well. Sometimes they have other things on their minds. Sometimes they think they know what you're going to say already, so they don't really listen. And then there is the memory factor; human memory is certainly not the most reliable thing in the world.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by simply repeating yourself and then questioning people to make sure they know what you said.

Be overly clear with your communication and you will experience less resentment and you'll have fewer problems to deal with later.


How can you be overly clear? By using two simple techniques:

  1. repeat yourself, and
  2. ask questions to make sure people understand exactly what you're saying.

Be more clear than you think is necessary and you'll experience less stress and more success.

Be overly clear with people.

How to be here now. This is mindfulness from the East applied to reality in the West.

Expressing anger has a good reputation. Too bad. Anger is one of the most destructive emotions we experience, and its expression is dangerous to our relationships.

Comparisons are natural. Indeed, you can't really help it. But you can direct it in a way that enhances your relationships, even making you feel better about people you haven't even met yet.
How You Measure Up

It is unnecessarily limiting to label yourself shy, outgoing, Aries, Taurus, strong, weak, or any other label. Be your true, flexible self and you'll be better off.
Personality Myth

There may be evidence that prayer may actually have medical benefits, even if the prayed-for doesn't know it's happening.
Send a Blessing

Why is it important to make a good impression? Because human brains aren't perfect and are biased by our earliest conclusions.
Very Impressive

next: To Zip or Not to Zip

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 7). Is That Clear?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Last Updated: March 31, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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