The 3 T’s of Communication

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Have you ever tried explaining something to an employee or co-worker and been misunderstood? You might consider a different way of communicating. What I am talking about is using a little redundancy. Redundancy can be a good thing when it comes to communication. In the research that has been done, it has been shown that most people forget 90% of what they hear within 30 days. With that information in mind, something that will help you be a better communicator is to use the 3 T’s formula to enhance your communication skills.

Here is the formula:
Tell them what you are going to say
Tell them
Tell them what you told them

For example, when you want to share some information with an employee or co-worker, first tell him what you are going to say. It might sound like this: Joe, in just a moment I am going to explain to you how to bind a report.

Next, tell him or explain to him how to do it. You might also demonstrate how it is done as you do it. This allows him to not only hear but to see how it is done.

Finally the last part of the formula is to tell him what you just finished telling him or to summarize what you said in the first two steps. At this point it is a good time to answer any questions he may have or to have him demonstrate how to bind a report. You could also have him practice a few times the skill you are trying to teach him.

My point is to not be afraid of repeating yourself when you are trying to communicate your ideas to others. By doing so, you will increase their learning curve and become more effective as a supervisor or co-worker when you are communicating to others.

Thinking about a career in communications? Visit

Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a business consultant, speaker, trainer, coach and author. He works with small and mid-size businesses and organizations and helps them develop their most valuable asset – their people!


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  • Julie K.
    Julie K.

    Thank you for the information. My initials, to be grammatically and factually accurate at this moment , are Julie KL.

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