Never say “They didn’t understand.”
Ideas have no value. Ideas are only valuable when they are put into action. The game goes to those who can execute, execute, execute at the highest possible level.
Have you ever had an idea that seemed so clear, so easy to picture, only to discover when you attempted to explain it, it didn’t sound that good after all? The idea that had seemed so clear in the silence of your mind didn’t even sound sensible to you. It didn’t sound at all like your mental picture. People looked at you with a blank stare? After trying several times with no luck, it seemed impossible to explain? It’s like singing; you can hear the song so clearly in your mind, the lyrics and orchestration, but when the sound comes out of your mouth, it doesn’t sound anything like it sounded in your head. Now selling your idea seems hopeless, and moving forward without the engaged help of others makes implementation impossible. Like the old cliché, “I know what I mean; I just can’t explain it.” Your listeners conclude if you can’t explain it, you don’t know what you mean. Is this because your idea is a bad idea? Who can say? I’m betting that most of your ideas, at minimum, have within them the seed of something good, if not marvelous.
There may be many reasons we abandoned our ideas long before they are implemented, only to be heard saying at some future time, “I thought of that a long time ago.” We know one of the most common causes for business failure is undercapitalization. Perhaps your idea was undercapitalized with enthusiastic supporters. When I am asked to evaluate business ideas, I often find that the person who is excited about their idea hasn’t done an adequate job of calculating the costs of
operating the business or how they are going to acquire the customers. They haven’t determined the sales volume required for them to make sufficient gross profits to cover their overhead, retire debt and pay their taxes.
More often, ideas that are good ideas fail because they are inadequately communicated to those whose support is required. This includes prospective customers, and can include suppliers, financial backers, and others whose backing is needed for your enterprise to be successful.
So here we come face-to-face with the crucial importance of being able to sell our ideas. Experience shows that most of us think we are far better communicators than we actually are. Most of us can dramatically improve all of our results by improving our ability to communicate ideas. Successfully communicating your ideas is the key component to success in all areas of life. Frustration, heartbreak and regrets are often rooted in poor communication. We call it a “misunderstanding.” We say, “They didn’t understand.” The first step to improving your ability to communicate is accepting full responsibility for the other persons’ understanding. You do this by saying, “I didn’t make myself clear.” Take full responsibility for being understood with everyone every day and your communication will improve.
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