Monday, May 17, 2010

Articulate Non-Communications

Do you ‘listen’ to what others actually say? Is the ‘message’ really what they intend to deliver?

As a leader one of our strongest tools is communication. For presentations we concentrate on every word to convey just the right message and seek the best media to do so. What about the other times?

Here’s a few examples of Articulate Non-Communications:

* Here’s the voicemail message of a sales executive: “This is B.G. Seller – I can’t take your call right now, BUT it is important to me – please leave your name, phone number and a brief message and I will call you back at my earliest convenience.”

Real Message: Be concise and I’ll call when I feel like it.

* Your cable company phone is answered by an automated switchboard - the message says: “Sorry all our Customer Care Staff are helping other customers – your call is very important to us, please hold for the next available CC Staff.” Then an automatic message says ‘the wait time is 15 minutes – please remain on the line.’

Real Message: We do not value your time and are understaffed. Your call is not important to us.

* An executive calls the key staff together for a brainstorming session on a vexing problem and offers an example of a solution to the problem to help ‘clarify’ the issue.

Real Message: I have come up with THE solution and this exercise is a waste of your time.

* The meeting organizer comes late to the meeting – or delays the start of the meeting until the stragglers arrive.

Real Message: I do not value your time.

These real messages are NOT positive! Be sure the message is consistent with the intent. If not, change it to convey what’s intended.

Do you have examples of Articulate Non-Communications?


  1. Last week I got, "You're right this is important, but I'll be out for the next two months."

  2. A new voice comes to the blogosphere. Welcome!