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When you need to get things done in business quickly and efficiently – Be direct/Go direct

In business, you need to get things done. We all need to get things done and I’ll share some tips to help you get things done with your business communication.

I can sum it up in 4 words:

Be direct – Go direct.


(The need for speed – even in business communication! TV reporting days help my communication consulting and coaching these days)

TB NASA story

1. Be direct

Business writing is usually about achieving actions – so make it clear in your writing what action you want from people.

I’ll go into detail on these points in later posts.

You can be direct (and clear) when you:

  1. use active voice – rather than passive voice
  2. use verbs – rather than static nouns
  3. put action up high in your messages and repeat it at the end – even put it in e-mail subject lines so readers know what they need to do (if action is required)

2. Go direct

Often we communicate through official “chains”.

With every link in the chain there can be delay and the risk of misunderstanding.

Think of the old party game once commonly called “Chinese Whispers” –  known in other countries as “Telephone” or “Operator” or “Grapevine” or “Whisper Down the Lane” .

It takes longer to get messages across  down the chain – and the messages often get distorted.

Now, I understand that organisations often have protocols and “gatekeepers”.

However, efficient organisations these days also encourage a culture of going direct (at least in urgent/high-value matters)  They also encourage people to be prepared before they go direct –  to minimize wasting people’s time.

This morning, I needed to get an answer quickly.

I could have e-mailed “my assistant”  who would  e-mail the organisation that would message the person I needed the answer from  – and then the message would travel back along the chain to me.

Instead, I practised what I preach and:

1. Prepared so I refined what I needed to know. I wrote down the key action points.

2. Called the person directly and got the answer, clarified and confirmed what I needed to know  within 60 seconds.

The senior and very busy person encouraged me to call him  directly if I needed anything else – rather than going through “the chain”. My kind of executive!

Going direct is faster and without the chance of message distortion!

Direct = less Delay and less Distortion

release the verb

Even though I train e-mail writing – I’d rather phone a person and speak directly. E-mails can be too open to ambiguity and misunderstanding.

I understand why people in business do NOT go direct.

There’s the fear of thinking “What if the other person thinks that I  should know this already? What is the other person will think I’m unprofessional?”

I recommend you: Put Efficiency in front of Fear!  

Efficiency > Fear

Focus on getting the right result – even if that means asking more questions to get answers you need.

When I work with organisations to help them improve their communication –  I want to do the best possible job I can.

If that means asking questions and getting answers – I’ll do it.

Maybe, from being a reporter I was used to asking questions!

I also encourage a culture of asking questions to clarify matters.

And when you need to get things done quickly and efficiently – Be direct and Go direct!

And remember:

1. Direct = less Delay and less Distortion

2. Efficiency > Fear

3. Put action at the start – repeat it at the end


If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.


I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.



Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can follow this blog.

These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing etc.   I  like to help people COPE.



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