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Don't Overflow the Coffee Cup

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

We all have a limited attention span, but especially in the workplace with our peers, employees and customers. It is critical when we are trying to navigate a difficult conversation at work or sell a group on a great idea, that we chose our words carefully and avoid droning on and on. This will ultimately lead to "overflowing the coffee cup". This will not only dilute our key message but our audience will wonder what we were even trying to say (if they are still awake).

The best way to do this is to be clear about our objective. Second, to be mindful of who our audience is and why they care about this topic. Last, if you don't know what their perspective is, don't just take a wild guess, ask!

This approach is often called "Audience Based Communication" or "ABC Communication". It sounds really simple, but I guarantee if you start using this strategy, you'll not only increase your effectiveness at work, but people will want to hear more from you.

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