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Develop your spirit of synthesis
A manager must be able to rely on his spirit of synthesis to communicate essential/key information, when he has to present a project, a concept in a short time or words, lead a brief or decide in a hurry.
What is the spirit of synthesis?
It is the ability to identify, among a wealth of information, the key elements regarding a specific problem and effectively restore them.
Depending on the objective – inform, explain, report – and the expectations/needs of the recipients of a summary, the latter may contain different types of information. Having a spirit of synthesis thus supposes being able, in the presence of a multitude of diverse and varied information, to select the most relevant elements to present them in a logical, clear, and succinct manner to an audience beforehand.
Summary, analysis, and synthesis
The summary consists of making a summary of what has been said/written, without any real sorting out as to the importance of the information transmitted. The idea is to formulate in a few words – as little as possible – a book, a speech, an article, e.g. The summary sticks to what has been said/written, without extrapolation or additional information whatsoever. It answers questions such as:
” What is this document talking about? “
” What was the content of this meeting? ”
The analysis is done from “outside to inside.” It starts from a general aspect – a whole – to dissect each of its specific components – the parts.
It answers questions such as:
” What are the different components of this whole? “,
” How does each of these elements behave independently of the others? ”
As for the synthesis, it is done “from the inside to the outside.” It releases general information – a whole – starting from several different specific elements – the parts. The idea is to group various items that a priori has no link around the same global theme. Furthermore, to synthesize, it is possible to call on one’s knowledge, supporting or complementing the other information collected.
It answers type questions:
” What is the environment / global context for this element? “,
” How do all these things behave when you put them together? “,
” How can we articulate this information so that it constitutes a whole? “
” What role does each element have in relation to the others? ”
Why is it important to know how to synthesize?
In a company, having a spirit of synthesis is a non-negligible advantage, all the more so when you have to make decisions, manage employees, or communicate widely.
Save time and efficiency: get to the point, understand and make people understand without drowning in details,
Take a step back: distinguish between facts, opinions, and judgments,
Fluid and effective communication: faithful report to the exchanges and operational, information transmitted effectively effective pitch …
Informed decision making: quickly having a global vision of the situation to decide appropriately,
Better crisis management: take into account the different essential elements to quickly find the best solution,
Effective support for change: take into account different impacts to choose the best path to change …
How to develop your spirit of synthesis?
Efficiently compiling information is not innate. However, with common sense, a few regular exercises, a little method, and practice, it is possible to boost your spirit of synthesis.
1. Take a step back
Be objective, not be influenced by your own beliefs,
Show openness and creativity,
Distinguish facts from opinions and judgments,
Check the integrity of the information collected,
Do not want to restore all the information collected …
2. Read/listen and take notes effectively
Quick reading: read quickly and efficiently by visually locating keywords and essential information.
Effective note-taking: note the key elements that will constitute the synthesis according to the final objective.
Active listening: rephrase what has been said to make sure it is understood.
3. Know how to collect and sort information
Collect the right elements: relevant data related to the objective, common sense, verification of information, logic, knowledge on the subject …
Skim: classify the information collected – figures, essential elements, informative, explanatory, useless – (using highlighters of different colors, for example), distinguish between crucial, useful, and accessory or even parasitic data.
Architect: logically link key information (common thread, a sequence of steps, methodology …).
4. Communicate effectively
Collect and restore information in a clear and relevant manner, whether:
In writing: use a vocabulary adapted to your interlocutors, write legibly, space paragraphs, use short sentences, speaking titles, and subtitles …
Orally: glean the right information from the right people, restore it in the best possible way (use a memo card on which the great ideas of his summary are noted very clearly, as well as a few keywords), speak loudly and clearly enough to be heard and understood, punctuate and punctuate sentences, use suitable vocabulary …
5. Train and practice regularly
Having fun synthesizing any topic, first in a few words (5 to 10 words), then in twenty, then fifty … A good exercise is to practice presenting a project in a single sentence that can be understood by a five-year-old child.
Summarize books, write meeting minutes,
Boost your creativity: find connection points between seemingly discordant subjects, connect a priori contradictory ideas, define a common thread hanging on to various information … https://www.amigamag.com/develop-your-spirit-of-synthesis/