Don’t Yell Louder. Refine Your Message.

The customs agent was losing his patience with the small, demure Asian woman standing in front of him, struggling to understand his command that she sign her custom form. He yelled, “I need your signature!” It was the fourth time he made his demand, each time asked louder and slower than before. It was the fourth time she still didn’t understand.

You’re laughing at how ridiculous it is that someone would raise their voice and expect it to improve the communication. But haven’t you been guilty of this?

Refine the Message

Your message isn’t resonating. So you repeat it over and over again, each time louder, struggling to make it resonate with its intended audience. But increasing the volume doesn’t improve your message. It doesn’t increase your message’s resonance with you audience.

Refining the message improves its impact.

The Rest of the Story

At some point, the customs agent decided to show the visitor what he wanted her to do by acting it out for her. The visual representation immediately improved the communication, and she signed the customs form. Not that he could have read it anyway.

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