Concisely and precisely

In high school, my language teachers were supposed to grade whether my writing was concise and precise.

The advice to communicate “concisely and precisely” has stuck with me because wordy and vague communication is rampant.

You could ask how the work on that thing you discussed last week is going. But you’ll get a more useful answer when you instead ask whether Jessica completed the first draft of the copy for the “Our mission” page on the company website.

During a busy time at work, you might ask one of your team members “how he’s been feeling lately”. What if you asked, instead: “Mark, have you been able to handle the extra work these past two weeks without staying late?”

You might find that communicating concisely and precisely is difficult. If so, that’s usually because what you’re trying to get across is vague in your head. Straighten out your thoughts first.

Communicate concisely to respect others’ time. And communicate precisely so people know exactly what you mean.


— Peter

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