My Secret Work Weapon: Watch out for lazy language - decode it and be specific
Specificity, or the precision model, is something I came across about five years ago when I was sales and customer services director.
Mark Thomson, Olympics and international director, Royal Mail
It's all about spotting lazy language, and I use it to this day in one-to-one and executive meetings.
So, for example, someone might say 'We need to do more' or 'We need to do better', which is undefined and lazy language. It is fairly common where people have an emotional outburst or when they don't have a very good grip on the detail, so you need to push them a bit harder to say what they really mean.
It's not about being aggressive, it's about drilling down so you get people to expand on their point and be specific.
There are four things to look for in terms of decoding: comparisons (such as 'more', 'better', 'less'); spotting undefined words ('improve'); unspecified terms ('my team', 'some individuals', 'they think') and exaggeration ('it'll never work', 'always', 'all').
Mark Thomson is Olympics and international director, Royal Mail
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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