METRO PLUS

Let people know what's coming

THINK ABOUT what a flag at a golf course does: it draws our attention to the hole, it says: "This is where we're aiming." A flag in a conversation does the same thing.

It lets your conversational partners know what's coming next, so they can `orient' themselves to it.

This shows them what to listen for: a question, a summary, a different point of view, an example, or whatever it is that you flag.

They are less likely to `mis-hear' and their minds are less likely to wander.

If I've understood you correctly... I'd like to return to something you said earlier...

So the main problem seems to be... Let me ask you a question...

In summary, then... Let me go over that again...

Flagging also helps you think before you speak because you need to know what you're going to say before you can flag it.

Try using flags to smooth the flow of thoughts and make your communication dance flow.

KRIS COLE

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