Thoughts From the Coffee Table: Clear and concise messaging “Tick”le me. Have you ever watched a great commercial, only to realize later that you had no idea what was being sold? Have you ever had a conversation, made a sales pitch, or left a job interview wondering if you got your message across? Communication skills are vital to our success. What we say and how we say it tells a story. But we can easily forget to verify that our story is being told clearly and correctly. I just overheard a conversation with someone who, every few seconds (23 times in 5 mins – I counted), asked “right?” This verbal “tic” is often used to confirm agreement and understanding, yet rarely does so. The conversation included a lot of head nodding and smiling, but, from my perspective, very little actual agreeing or understanding. But the speaker, buoyed by head nods and smiles, felt that his message was truly resonating. A week or so ago, this fascinating vehicle was parked by the Rocky Steps in Philly. At first glance, I thought it was promoting the Philly Flower Show. But closer inspection revealed a tick. Many ticks. Luckily, all plastic. To remind us to be aware of ticks and avoid Lyme disease. A message easy to understand, and easy to agree with. Clear. Concise. Compelling. Right?