Good Directions

Knowing who you are speaking to matters. Hopefully you wouldn’t ask your spouse and your preschool child to help you with something using the same words and tone. In our every day conversations thinking about your “audience” – the person you are speaking to – focusing on what THEY need to hear can help get you the results you want.

Let’s take a look at the simple example of giving directions. The Biilly Currington song isn’t the only example of when giving good directions affects the outcome of a situation. The end goal is to give the other person the information they need to arrive where he/she is supposed to end up, right? And different people like different kids of directions.

Here’s how I might explain to different people how to get to my house:

Yellow: Go past the post office and look for the really ugly bright blue house. Take the next turn after the ugly house and then make a quick left onto my street. You’ll see my pink Mustang in the driveway.

Blue: Take exit 12 and turn right using the inside lane. Turn left at the first light and my street is the 5th left.

Red: Here’s the address. (They are going to just use their GPS so don’t bother giving them directions.)

Green: I’ll pick you up.

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