A Word To The Wise


A Thought About Communication (c) R Dennison November 2013

Occasionally it is difficult to get your point across.  You might want to communicate something of yourself, as well as impress with your call to action.

Also there may be certain expectations about how you communicate linked to the working culture in your profession.  In some places of work anything goes, ‘patois’ or ‘banter’ included.  In others, not so much.

I was thinking about all this as there have been several examples of self-expression colliding with effective communication recently.

Exhibit A is X Factor winner James Arthur’s Twitter feud with fellow rapper Mickey Worthless.  On reading the tweets I wondered what Mr Arthur was trying to achieve with his choice of language?  Did he think homophobic language helped establish his street credentials?

Exhibit B belongs to Australian cricketer Michael Clarke.  His sledging comments toward James Anderson were obviously intended to disturb the batsman’s concentration; didn’t they also make Mr Clarke look childish and unprofessional?

Finally, by way of contrast, Tottenham MP David Lammy is right to point out that using a limited vocabulary is not going to help anyone get a job.

Here’s my point.  There’s something to be said for having a communication game plan, before writing, Tweeting, blogging or speaking.  The bare bones of the plan respond to three simple questions:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What sort of language do I want to use to get my point across to them?
  • How do I want to be perceived by them?

No one will get it right all of the time.  However a little fore thought will go a long way to help get the message across.

So here is a question for you: what is the first item in your plan before you start communicating?

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