Summary of Message Not Received

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Rating

7 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


Recommendation

Author and speaker Phil Simon shows busy professionals how to become better communicators. Simon begins with examples of poorly worded press releases filled with technobabble and buzzwords, a common malady afflicting companies today. He examines the convergence of technology and communication, and discusses stress in the workplace, corporate jargon and buzzwords, turning nouns into verbs and other linguistic gaffes. Using informative case studies, he covers almost any communication problem you can imagine. Ironically, the author can be long-winded and sometimes relies on stilted language and trite expressions, such as “the Orwellian abolishment of buzzwords” or “the tsunami of technology permeating our lives.” Nonetheless, getAbstract recommends his good advice to leaders, managers, employees, students and anyone seeking to communicate more effectively.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How poor communication negatively affects companies,
  • Why you should make your language clear and concise, and
  • How to communicate complex topics in simple ways.
 

About the Author

Frequent keynote speaker Phil Simon has written six books, including The Age of the Platform. His work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Wired and The New York Times.

 

Summary

Whither Good Communication Skills?

Many businesspeople lose profitable opportunities due to their poor communications skills. Some leaders love to sling acronyms, jargon and buzzwords such as “paradigm shift, synergy, net-net, low-hanging fruit and optics,” which are far less effective than plain English. Miscommunication can occur even if companies don’t use buzzwords.

Most businesses use electronic mail as their primary method of communication. They send tons of emails to their employees, clients and prospects, but too many messages cause readers to tune out as often as badly worded communications do.¨Whether communication occurs via a companywide memo or face-to-face between two people, messages must be clear and concise.

Technology Affects Communication

Twitter is a common social media channel. While users ignore the majority of tweets – more than 70%, according to some estimates – others replay on an endless loop. Such was the case when public relations executive Justine Sacco boarded an 11-hour flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa, after tweeting, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” During her flight (which...


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