I review a great many speeches, reports, media releases and statements, and strategy documents straight from the C-suite at large companies, and the same problem keeps cropping up. Basically, people are too close to the subject at hand, and can’t always see the assumptions they’re making.
A CEO’s speech I reviewed recently, for example, contained examples of the company’s very admirable efforts in achieving greater gender equity throughout the company. But even though the intentions were good, it was phrased in such a way that it sounded like the company was patting the heads of the weak little wimmens – and had I been in the audience at that speech, I would have bristled.
When you’re dealing with a contentious issue, and you’ve been doing so for some time, you can easily get to the point where you can’t see the wood for the trees. And if you’re negotiating something tricky – a dispute with the unions, or a restructuring that will affect a large number of employees – you want to make sure you are phrasing things just right. That they’re unambiguous. That they strike the right note.
Which is why it’s wise to bring in an outsider who can read the communication “cold” and has the skills to calmly interrogate anything that might be contentious or even harmful to the process underway.
I am that person – I’m calm, thoughtful, strategically minded and a whizz with words. Drop me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll prove it.