Glassy Eyes

by Joseph Kwon in


One chilly Winter evening I was was on my way to my car and I ran into a colleague in the parking lot. I was leading a task force and wanted him to join as one of the members. The one simple thing I wanted to communicate to him at that moment was what the task force was and that he had been selected to participate.

Easier said than done. For some reason, corporate jargon and acronymns staring spilling out of my mouth. It was like corporate turets. Why use 5 words when you can use 15? Poor guy. I noticed his eyes glazing over and luckily, caught myself and switched gears. I took a brief pause, then finished what I needed to tell him in one last, simple sentence, minus the corporate speak. He seemed to have understood, and we said our goodbyes.

I learned or was reminded of a few EZPZ rules of communication by this encounter.

1. When you see their eyes glaze over, just stop it! Switch up what you are saying or how you are saying it because you are only broadcasting and no one is receiving.

2. Speak simply to avoid people tuning you out. You don't have to use full organizational names, technical terms or corporate jargon to get your point across. In fact, you're probably just obscuring your point.

3. Timing is everything. The worst times of day for attention AND retention are right before lunch and right before leaving work. So avoid these times if possible. This also means, if you need to say something, but don't want to have a huge conversation about it, these times might be better.

Observe a bit more, don't be a bore.

Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.