Why is it so hard to be specific?
Over the past week or two the number of times I’ve had to ask people to be specific about something has been quite an eye opener. Knowing what you want, when you want it and in what measure not only means you can take appropriate, focused and timely action, but so can other people around you who can help you achieve whatever it is you’re working on.
Action, in the right measure, and at the right time is the lifeblood of business growth. No wonder, then, that inaction, more often than not caused by vagueness of purpose, is one of the leading killers of growth and prosperity.
If you’re in goal setting mode right now make sure your yardstick is that old standard S.M.A.R.T. with a real emphasis on “Specific”. Think of it this way. If you were planning a holiday you wouldn’t generally say “I’m heading West-ish”. You’d know the country, the area, and the resort plus your transportation in all phases of travel and the documentation you need to complete the journey with least hassle. So why is it that when it comes to planning the future of a business, so many business owners out there will use language like “we’re hoping to” or “we’ll do more than last year” or worst of all “no idea”. Sure it takes some thinking about and people need to set time aside to do that regularly. Remember, a transatlantic airliner is technically off-course for 90% of the journey but uncannily hits a tiny strip of tarmac in the right city at the right time just about every single time.
If you want to land your business, your projects and your decisions on the button then being specific about your destination, your outcome, is absolutely key to success.
Time then to take a look at your emails, proposals, requests for pricing, marketing plans and materials, sales targets, proposals, tender responses, business plans, staff communication and ask yourself “Am I being specific enough here?”. “Will the recipient of this message really understand what I am saying, what outcome I desire, what action I want them to take (or I am going to take) and why (in terms of the value of the actions).
A great book to read on this is Andy Bounds’ “The Jelly Effect” which is a real thought provoker and full of practical ideas on improving the impact and effectiveness of your communications.
If you’re looking for some clarity on your own goals in life then take a look at “Goal Mapping” by Brian Mayne which takes a very right brained approach to goal setting taht works effectively at a subconscious level.
Make it happen. Be specific!