When you say ‘I’ll be brief’ – be brief

Understandably, not everything can be delivered in a brief message.

But when you set the expectation by starting your email with “I’ll be brief” it’s best to deliver on that promise – so be brief!

What’s not brief?

  • a 700 word email
  • a 5 minute call that turns into a 45 minute call
  • a ‘pop-in’ by an office guest that turns into a meeting

What is brief:

  • a 200 word email that takes 3 minutes to read
  • a 5 minute call that takes 5 minutes
  • a ‘pop-in’ that takes 5 minutes

How to make interactions brief:

Of these three situations, the email is the easiest to manage since you can edit it before sending. The live conversations are a bit more difficult to manage. All can be managed if you use the following structure:

Share with your audience:

  1. What it’s about
  2. Here’s why it’s important
  3. Here’s what I need from you
  4. Here’s our next step

Determining the length of any communication starts with knowing the desired outcome, understanding the content, knowing the audience, and assessing the context.

Don’t fool yourself. You’re not that brief and sometimes not that clear.
If you want to work on that, I can help.