Why Clarity is a Courtesy

1st October, 2020

Why Clarity is a Courtesy

I’m not a big fan of the inspirational quote.

 

There’s no ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ sign in my hallway.

 

No ‘Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations’ with a mountaintop sunset on my Instagram.

 

No ‘Flex your hustle muscle’ print on my desk (Gag.)

 

But I did come across a wonderful quote this week that I’d forgotten about. To paraphrase the author, Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset:

 

‘Clarity is a courtesy.’

 

Writing or speaking in a way that’s simple, clear and easy to understand shows that we respect other people’s time.

 

We’ve already boiled down the essence of what we want to say. So our reader gets the easy job of digesting it straight away.

 

And simplicity, clarity and respect for other people’s time are even more important right now.

 

As all the wonderful replies to my email last week demonstrated, we’re all feeling close to overwhelm. No-one needs to work harder than they are already, thank you very much.

 

So spend a few extra minutes asking yourself if you truly understand what the ONE thing is that you want to say.

 

And then a few extra moments checking if your point can be understood quickly and easily by your recipient.

 

Be clear. Be courteous. Be kind.

 

Oh god. That’s an inspirational quote.

accenture
UBS
LOD
Euromoney
University of Cambridge

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