Explaining The What and The Why 

We all know the saying “good news travels fast.” Well, “bad information travels faster.” Stay ahead of the warp speed at which bad information travels by proactively explaining the what, why and impact of changes up front.

Technology upgrades. Process alterations. Organizational restructuring. Personnel moves. Mergers. Acquisitions. Changes in leadership. In these instances, simply announcing the what without explaining the why and impact can lead to lost productivity. The information vacuum fuels distracting gossip and crippling anxiety as people make up and spread their own version of why.

When the ground of the familiar shifts, explain the what, why and impact of the new. Answer the difficult questions and leave your door open for individual follow-up discussions.

Jargon Divides Us

The use of industry jargon and acronyms is viewed by many as a convenient shortcut to saying more with less. But relying heavily on jargon can be a barrier that results in exclusion.

Using jargon and acronyms assumes that everyone you’re talking to has an equal understanding of your intended meaning. Very often this not the case. And, typically, those who don’t understand will sit silently or become distracted as they search their minds for definitions.

Fast Company.com offers these 4 tips to simplify your language. Pay attention to how you speak. Use simple language to make people care. Stop using words that aren’t in the dictionary and use examples.

In some rooms, jargon might show off your deep knowledge and comfort level with a complicated topic. But using simple language everyone can understand is the hallmark of a great communicator.

Reawaken Your Team’s Curiosity

According to Forbes.com contributor Adi Gaskell, our education system and work environments condition us to detach from the kind of curiosity we experienced as children. But, he says, curiosity for it’s own sake is needed to drive learning as adults.

He sites research from UC Davis in California that says curiosity may put the brain in a state that supports learning and retaining information. Other research says curiosity plays a key role in innovation and employee engagement.

Gaskell’s tips for reawakening curiosity: make it safe to ask “dumb questions.” Encourage long and short-term thinking. Focus on “what” as much as “how” so process doesn’t get in the way of desired results. Set a great example — research shows that curious bosses inspire curious employees.