Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say less!

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say less!

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.


The vast majority of the time when someone doesn't get their question answered or doesn't get what they want, it's because they themselves buried it in an avalanche of superfluous details or indirect beating around the bush.

In other words, most of the time someone doesn't get their key, bottom-line question answered or key, bottom-line request fulfilled, it's because they either (1) didn't actually explicitly and assertively ask it at all ever, or (2) buried their key bottom-line question or request in an avalanche of superfluous details, red herrings, and other insincere or unimportant questions or requests.

For example, I typically never ask rhetorical questions, especially when doing business, negotiating, or otherwise engaging in a tough, important, or high-stakes conversation.

To give a more broad example, when I was a teenager I worked at the customer service desk at a local grocery store.

You can imagine one person comes in, walks up to the desk with a gallon of milk, puts it on the counter, and says, "I bought this milk yesterday; it was bad; can I get a refund?" I'd say, yes, with a smile, and give them the refund. In fact, if I remember the policy correctly, I might have even offered them a free milk on top of their refund. Regardless, they would be in and out of the store in a minute with their refund, if they were that upfront and assertive and explicit. That kind of quick, efficient, and productive exchange would happen many times per day.

However, I'd also get people who walked in, and, in the same circumstances, said, "Hi, young man, how are you? Oh, that's good. I'm doing good too. How can you help me, you ask? Oh okay, well, let me tell you: my daughter is flying in from Texas to visit me this week, and she likes skim milk with her cereal. I usually only drink whole milk. But, I wanted her to be comfortable while she's here, so I decided to come to the store yesterday, to get some skim milk on hand. I had to deposit some checks. I was actually disappointed because the bank in this store that I usually go to wasn't open when I came. I came at about 7:30am, and I guess the bank doesn't open until 8am. Maybe you know better than me what time the in-store bank here opens..."

I think you see where that's going, and eventually the second person would get the same refund the first person did. It would take a lot longer, and it might involve me attempting to fix the person's issue ineffectively a few times (e.g. thinking her main question is about when the bank opens, so asking her to hang on for a minute while I go look that info up and get back to her).

You can even imagine the second person thinks of themself as a real smooth-talking people-pleaser who only eventually got the refund because they are so good at communicating and manipulating people, using their clever wordy banter to slowly work a refund out of the clerk.

Most people make things way more complicated than they need to be. Then when they do fail at some goal (e.g. getting a simple refund for some milk), they blame the complexities of such things, the toughness of such a goal, and just random luck.

In other threads, I've often addressed the incredible value, power, inner peace, and kindness that comes from honest assertive communication, which itself can be contrasted to toxic passiveness (which almost always turns into an explosion of aggressiveness due to the bottled up hostility. There are a lot of ways these can be described, but one symptom that contrasts the directness and honesty of assertive communication with the others is wordiness, complexity, and the time-and-energy-wasting confusion of indirectness.

If you keep things simple, avoid beating around the bush, and realize how much more effective, polite, and kind it is to be assertive and explicit, then you will find that you achieve seemingly tough big goals with an incredible ease that warrants the word grace or gracefulness.

When everyone else is so frustrated and exhaustingly busy making mountains out out of molehills, and you simply don't do that, you seem like a walking god who can climb or pass through gigantic mountains with nearly infinite graceful ease. The average human's jaw will drop seeing you do it.

People will begin asking you: How do you manifest such wealth and incredible success into your life?

You'll know the answer then: It's all the things I don't do that almost everyone else does.

It's all the things I don't worry about at all that others choose to spend so much time, money, and energy worrying about.

The power in the words I say comes from all the many other things I don't bother saying.

You cannot communicate assertively and effectively if you are too busy communicating a different way. One of the funniest things about toxically passive people is how very talkative they tend to be. They even will fill the silence with uhhs and umms just because they feel such an urge to blabber, perhaps using quantity in a futile attempt to compensate for a lack of quality.

Aggressive people do the same, but they have an extra funny addition: On top of the overly wordy blabbering, aggressive people also often attempt to use loudness, rudeness, and/or vulgarity to compensate for their utter lack of assertiveness and for the incredibly low quality of their words and communication style.

They are both silly, and they are both fun to watch, with a loving smile like how you might watch a dog chasing its own tail. :lol:

Even better than the fun joy you can get it from it, like watching a silly dog chase it's own tail, noticing that lovably funny but self-harming behavior in them makes it easier for you to keep your eye on the prize and not make the same kind choices they do. In other words, it makes it even easier for you to remember the happy graceful power in simple, direct, straight-forward, honest assertive communication.

Some people like to call it the principle of KISS ("Keep It Simple, Stupid"). If that helps you remember it, go for it. Personally, while I am happy to compare the people who fail to follow the principle to a dog chasing its own tail, I generally don't anyone "stupid" per se.

I love dogs that chase their own tails. I love watching them do it. There's a beauty to it, and even one in the way a moth goes to a flame. :)


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


Keeping-Assertiveness-Simple.jpg

***

Assertiveness-Matrix.jpg


***

assertiveness.png


***

be-a-robot-and-focus-on-facts.png



---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by MehulPan »

I couldn't agree more. Growing up, I've always watched my dad saying things like,"Cut to the chase", "You didn't answer my question", "I asked something else, and you're answering a different question". I've always been curious of his behaviour and finally I get him. He never wastes time on unnecessary things. Although, he knows when to stop that and when to become a good listener at times.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Rob Carr »

I agree less is more when talking and writing for the most part. I used to have a rule in an old role I did where there was a lot of public communication, that if something couldn't be said in 8 words or less then it wasn't worth saying.

Where I have to make myself pause though is that there is a need to add a bit more some times when interacting with other people. If you stick only to direct language about the thing you want resolved even without using the mean/aggressive language you can still come across as rude to people if you don't also include communication that recognises them as a person. This doesn't need to be wordy, sometimes it can be as little as saying hi, smiling, and using please and thank you. But for some people and some situations it does need to be more to be respectful and engage on a person level.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Tommy Mayengbam »

Thinking the customer is inquiring about the bank's opening hours and asking her to wait for a moment to check that information when all she wants is a refund for the milk, is why clear Calls to Action (CTAs) are crucial, regardless of the request.

Short, clear, and to the point.

There's really no need to confuse the other person.

The second customer might manage to get what she wants with all that beating about the bush in a physical store, but in the online world, confusion often results in a 'No.'
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Tommy Mayengbam wrote: November 15th, 2023, 1:54 pm Thinking the customer is inquiring about the bank's opening hours and asking her to wait for a moment to check that information when all she wants is a refund for the milk, is why clear Calls to Action (CTAs) are crucial, regardless of the request.

Short, clear, and to the point.

There's really no need to confuse the other person.

The second customer might manage to get what she wants with all that beating about the bush in a physical store, but in the online world, confusion often results in a 'No.'
Yes, you are exactly right. :)

It's especially important because the world is becoming more and more online every day (which I actually enjoy since it tends to make things much more efficient and user-friendly). For instance, in the hotel in which I am currently staying, there is Dunkin restaurant, but you cannot order in person from it; they only take pick-up orders online via the mobile app.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Shirley Labzentis »

I agree that less is more. Some people go on and on and I find myself finally not listening to them at all because my focus has vanished. They never get to the point and I forget what the question was.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Otieno Lydia »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: October 16th, 2023, 2:07 pm If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.


The vast majority of the time when someone doesn't get their question answered or doesn't get what they want, it's because they themselves buried it in an avalanche of superfluous details or indirect beating around the bush.

In other words, most of the time someone doesn't get their key, bottom-line question answered or key, bottom-line request fulfilled, it's because they either (1) didn't actually explicitly and assertively ask it at all ever, or (2) buried their key bottom-line question or request in an avalanche of superfluous details, red herrings, and other insincere or unimportant questions or requests.

For example, I typically never ask rhetorical questions, especially when doing business, negotiating, or otherwise engaging in a tough, important, or high-stakes conversation.

To give a more broad example, when I was a teenager I worked at the customer service desk at a local grocery store.

You can imagine one person comes in, walks up to the desk with a gallon of milk, puts it on the counter, and says, "I bought this milk yesterday; it was bad; can I get a refund?" I'd say, yes, with a smile, and give them the refund. In fact, if I remember the policy correctly, I might have even offered them a free milk on top of their refund. Regardless, they would be in and out of the store in a minute with their refund, if they were that upfront and assertive and explicit. That kind of quick, efficient, and productive exchange would happen many times per day.

However, I'd also get people who walked in, and, in the same circumstances, said, "Hi, young man, how are you? Oh, that's good. I'm doing good too. How can you help me, you ask? Oh okay, well, let me tell you: my daughter is flying in from Texas to visit me this week, and she likes skim milk with her cereal. I usually only drink whole milk. But, I wanted her to be comfortable while she's here, so I decided to come to the store yesterday, to get some skim milk on hand. I had to deposit some checks. I was actually disappointed because the bank in this store that I usually go to wasn't open when I came. I came at about 7:30am, and I guess the bank doesn't open until 8am. Maybe you know better than me what time the in-store bank here opens..."

I think you see where that's going, and eventually the second person would get the same refund the first person did. It would take a lot longer, and it might involve me attempting to fix the person's issue ineffectively a few times (e.g. thinking her main question is about when the bank opens, so asking her to hang on for a minute while I go look that info up and get back to her).

You can even imagine the second person thinks of themself as a real smooth-talking people-pleaser who only eventually got the refund because they are so good at communicating and manipulating people, using their clever wordy banter to slowly work a refund out of the clerk.

Most people make things way more complicated than they need to be. Then when they do fail at some goal (e.g. getting a simple refund for some milk), they blame the complexities of such things, the toughness of such a goal, and just random luck.

In other threads, I've often addressed the incredible value, power, inner peace, and kindness that comes from honest assertive communication, which itself can be contrasted to toxic passiveness (which almost always turns into an explosion of aggressiveness due to the bottled up hostility. There are a lot of ways these can be described, but one symptom that contrasts the directness and honesty of assertive communication with the others is wordiness, complexity, and the time-and-energy-wasting confusion of indirectness.

If you keep things simple, avoid beating around the bush, and realize how much more effective, polite, and kind it is to be assertive and explicit, then you will find that you achieve seemingly tough big goals with an incredible ease that warrants the word grace or gracefulness.

When everyone else is so frustrated and exhaustingly busy making mountains out out of molehills, and you simply don't do that, you seem like a walking god who can climb or pass through gigantic mountains with nearly infinite graceful ease. The average human's jaw will drop seeing you do it.

People will begin asking you: How do you manifest such wealth and incredible success into your life?

You'll know the answer then: It's all the things I don't do that almost everyone else does.

It's all the things I don't worry about at all that others choose to spend so much time, money, and energy worrying about.

The power in the words I say comes from all the many other things I don't bother saying.

You cannot communicate assertively and effectively if you are too busy communicating a different way. One of the funniest things about toxically passive people is how very talkative they tend to be. They even will fill the silence with uhhs and umms just because they feel such an urge to blabber, perhaps using quantity in a futile attempt to compensate for a lack of quality.

Aggressive people do the same, but they have an extra funny addition: On top of the overly wordy blabbering, aggressive people also often attempt to use loudness, rudeness, and/or vulgarity to compensate for their utter lack of assertiveness and for the incredibly low quality of their words and communication style.

They are both silly, and they are both fun to watch, with a loving smile like how you might watch a dog chasing its own tail. :lol:

Even better than the fun joy you can get it from it, like watching a silly dog chase it's own tail, noticing that lovably funny but self-harming behavior in them makes it easier for you to keep your eye on the prize and not make the same kind choices they do. In other words, it makes it even easier for you to remember the happy graceful power in simple, direct, straight-forward, honest assertive communication.

Some people like to call it the principle of KISS ("Keep It Simple, Stupid"). If that helps you remember it, go for it. Personally, while I am happy to compare the people who fail to follow the principle to a dog chasing its own tail, I generally don't anyone "stupid" per se.

I love dogs that chase their own tails. I love watching them do it. There's a beauty to it, and even one in the way a moth goes to a flame. :)


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



Keeping-Assertiveness-Simple.jpg


***


Assertiveness-Matrix.jpg



***


assertiveness.png



***


be-a-robot-and-focus-on-facts.png




---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.

Concise and assertive communication often holds more impact in negotiations. Clarity can cut through complexities.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Carolyne Ochola »

When individuals articulate their inquiries with clarity and brevity, it facilitates better understanding and increases the likelihood of obtaining the information or assistance they seek. Conversely, excessive details or circumlocution can obscure the main point, leading to misunderstandings or incomplete responses. By presenting questions in a straightforward manner, communicators enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their interactions.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Leonie Vermaak »

What is rather frustrating to me, is that when a person is to the point and not beating around the bush, others sees you as rude and full of nonsense. Which actually is not the case, you just know what you want and not scared to say that. People these days are too evading with asking anything or just too touchy when you say how it is. So when I do meet people that's to the point, I enjoy and appreciate it so much.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Reva Parker »

I agree and it saves a lot of time and energy for both parties. But I grew up with a parent who wanted you to tell every single thing or else you were lying, For example, you could quote word for word about a conversation, but if you forgot about some scratching, or a light blinking in the background, then you were lying about it so you must be lying about everything. It was hard to teach myself that almost everyone else, doesn't want or need that. Now it's much simpler.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Kajori Sheryl Paul »

It is best to be to-the-point and clear cut. After all, as you said, "If you keep things simple, avoid beating around the bush, and realize how much more effective, polite, and kind it is to be assertive and explicit, then you will find that you achieve seemingly tough big goals with an incredible ease that warrants the word grace or gracefulness."

Thank you for this amazing piece of advice!
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Sushan »

You've hit the nail on the head with how often we can bury our main points in unnecessary details, leading to miscommunication or even failure to get what we want. I’ve seen this in action and totally agree with you. It reminds me of experiences where simple, direct questions yielded quick and effective results, much like your example of the grocery store customer service. It’s a clear demonstration of how straightforwardness can cut through the noise and make things happen efficiently.

Your insight about people complicating situations and then blaming external factors for their failures really resonated with me. It’s a valuable lesson in taking ownership of our communication style. And yes, the distinction between passive and aggressive communication styles you mentioned is spot on; I’ve observed how both can be counterproductive, often leading to more confusion than clarity.

Embracing honest, assertive communication as you suggest, and keeping things simple, can indeed be a powerful approach to interactions. It’s a reminder that sometimes, less is more, and being clear and concise can lead to better outcomes and less frustration for everyone involved. Your post has been a great reminder of the grace and power in simplicity—something I’ll aim to practice more in my own life.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

Thank you for saying all that simply hit home with me.

I grew up in a mixture of toxic aggressive and toxic passive environments.

Reading helped me a lot in the sense that I began to find books about emotional well-being, consciousness, and self-observation ( it took me a while to thread such things together and make use of certain things in my life ).

I played with expressing myself in several ways and now I look back and see how much tail chasing it was ( some painful and other parts were satisfying at the time). I do love though that all of it has led me to here.

Reading your book and this post put things into better perspective for me. I am working on my assertiveness daily :lol: and truly it does save time, energy, and drama.

I hope to make use of and emulate the following :
"People will begin asking you: How do you manifest such wealth and incredible success into your life? I
You'll know the answer then: It's all the things I don't do that almost everyone else does.

It's all the things I don't worry about at all that others choose to spend so much time, money, and energy worrying about.

The power in the words I say comes from all the many other things I don't bother saying." This is simply 👌 😍

Such grace 🙌
Mary Clarkee
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Mary Clarkee »

When people ask questions clearly and briefly, it helps others understand them better and increases the chances of getting the information or help they need. On the other hand, too many details or talking around the main point can make things confusing and lead to misunderstandings or incomplete answers. By asking questions directly, people make their interactions more efficient and effective.
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Re: Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness. Say l

Post by Donaldo cris »

When people ramble on without getting to the point, I find myself losing focus and not listening. It's frustrating because I forget what the question was in the first place.
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