Careers are fragile today and so is everyone’s attention span. With an estimated forty gigabytes of information being bounced off a person every day, one can only imagine the rate at which an average brain reaches its data saturation point. Forty five gigabytes does sound big, isn’t it? However, if one factors in the amount of meetings, phone calls, emails, text messages, video conferences, visit to social networking sites, chats etc that everyone indulges themselves with in their daily lives, it won’t look so irrationally humongous. Does it?
With an overload of information banging against the humble brain, it is eventually bound to filter out things which it finds unimportant or too long. Countless Hollywood movies have shown this phenomenon where rich and successful individuals resort to elevator pitches to make decisions. Time has come to a point where in every individual desires information only in the form of elevator pitches. And if one doesn’t soon learn to Keep It Short and Simple (KISS), a downward career spiral would be soon welcoming them with a slippery floor.
Talking about this emerging component of a successful career is author Joseph McCormack who in his latest book, BRIEF: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less, states that in every situation one needs to learn to get to the point at the fastest rate possible. This criterion holds true in any and every activity that one undertakes in their working hours, including writing articles like this.
As a live example, anyone reading this article would have wished that it would get to the KISS part at the earliest and meanwhile, would have received at least a dozen updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Crowdvoice along with some emails and chat messages. So it is not difficult to be attracted to the mysterious distractions of potentially far more interesting or important things that are hiding behind those updates.
Any unwanted disturbance during that period leaves the reader frustrated and angry at the source of the information no matter how good the intentions could have been.
Extrapolating the above scenario to a professional environment makes it easier to understand that not being able to provide brief information and quick solutions could potentially result in an unhappy and frustrated superior. This could ultimately lead to negative work feedback along with unwelcome responses, especially during appraisals.
So things like, going overboard with your explanations on a particular subject, being unable to communicate your point with clarity or being unprepared could just bring doom to anyone’s career progression within a short time span.
However, learning the perfect way to KISS is just a matter of practice and self belief, pun intended. One should first think carefully about the points that need to be communicated and then clearly classify the points that are important to be disclosed as against the points that add no value to the conversation. Then you need to understand the behavior of the recipient of the information to gauge how the information can be best transferred. Remember, that there is no one-way-fits-all to KISS and needs careful evaluation and quick evaluation over a short period of time. If it doesn’t still make sense, just go for it and learn from your mistakes before it’s too late.