Separating What We Want To Say From What We Need To Say

This one is worth framing over the desk:

Separate what you want to say from what you need to say.

What we want to say includes things that make us sound smart, ideas we find interesting, maneuvers to move the conversation where we want it to go (ex. “close a sale”), etc.

What we need to say includes answering a question being asked, probing to find the specific question when we’re unsure of what they’re asking, making certain our argument is clear in the other party’s mind, etc.

Want is focused on us, need us focused on them.

Focusing on the other person and uncovering what they need is the only path to actual progress.

Clear and concise. Content, context, and connection.

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