Long form > short form

Business & Strategy

I am a fan of considered, long form communication. I realize that not everyone possesses the skill to write with clarity (at least not naturally), but it can certainly be learned. 

Plus, the market value of this skill cannot be understated. Most job opportunities would benefit from the skill of considered, long form communication. 

What is long form? 

The way I would define it, a long form piece of communication is at least 300 words. I would say the posts I write for this blog fit the minimum bill for long form. 

It is long enough to get ideas across, and clearly at that, but not so long as to become arduous (at least not necessarily). 

Sometimes more words are required. Sometimes less. The point is that there is time for the fullest expression of an idea to take shape. 

Now—there is a caveat. There are certainly times when short form is all that is required, and it’s actually a skill to be able to condense something written in long form to a shorter form. 

I use the SCORRE method to prepare talks and sermons, which nods to this idea. Before my talk takes shape, I have a clearly stated “objective sentence” that summarizes the entire talk in one simple sentence. 

In our business, we use Basecamp for project management. It assumes a “mostly long form” communication structure. When I hire team members, their ability to communicate in this way is a huge consideration. 

If you have communication problems in your team, or you feel as though you’re always being pulled in 100 directions (short form communication like “chat” has this effect), try long form, considered, fully formed ideas for awhile, and see how it goes. 

About Me

 
Hey, I’m Steve Schramm. I write about marketing, design, business strategy, and productivity. This blog is my personal “cookbook” to help you design a healthier business through self-directed learning.

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