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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The importance of plain English | Dennis Hall,

Columnist Hall reports on a stark reminder he received "that we cannot afford to take anything for granted when it comes to a client’s understanding."

I'm sure all writers, speakers and teachers on any subject need to get a "stark reminder" occasionally, llike the one Hall describes in his column. I know I do. He writes (emphasis added):
Goodness knows I have preached enough times not to talk gobbledegook when dealing with clients, and here I was falling into the same trap. Not only did I use terminology he did not fully understand, I was guilty of not engaging with him. If I had not checked his understanding, he might well have left the office, wondered what the heck all that was about, and then decided to go somewhere else.
Stark concludes his self-reminder -- his lesson for all of us:
This week’s experience has reminded me how easy it is to overestimate another person’s ability to understand what it is we are saying. That being so, we should remember to keep checking their understanding, rather than assuming a nod means yes.

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