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Curious communications

Posted by Steve Read on January 13, 2014

Happy new year.  A little late I know, but fashionably so is how I see it. 

Some things have made me chuckle recently, and I thought I would share them with you. Niagara Falls have frozen over, and the images are amazing.  The same thing happened in 1909, 1936 / 7 and 1949.  What got my attention is how it has been reported.  In 1937, British Pathé news reported ‘Niagara falls frozen solid - mighty cataract stilled by winter's icy grip’.  This year, The Guardian’s website reported ‘Niagara Falls frozen – tourists flock to see icy spectacle (video) after the polar vortex causes the mighty waterfall to freeze’.  I don’t know about you, but we’ve lost something.  The romance has gone.  I clicked the video link, and watched tourists observing the ‘like totally awesome’ spectacle.  I would have preferred to see the mighty cataract stilled by winter’s icy grip.  It sounds much more impressive.  And I still don’t know exactly what a polar vortex is.  I chuckled.

On a similar subject, a BBC ‘yellow ice alert’ concerned me.  Yellow ice.  Disgusting.  Until someone explained that it is a yellow alert for ice.  I chuckled.

I chuckled when I read the article in People Management magazine describing how children of HR professionals don’t understand what HR do.  Why would they?  Many colleagues of HR professionals don’t get it either!  ‘My son thinks I’m a spy’ said one HR manager.  ‘I go into offices, give people files, take other files, and put secret information on the computer’.  Not so long ago, my own son asked me ‘who was I meeting today, in which hotel, and which games we would be playing’.  That got me thinking…  And I chuckled.

My point?  How you say what you say is so very important.  Once you click ‘send’, the damage might be done.  And you might not chuckle!  Get your managers and staff a new year present – some communication skills training to get them thinking perhaps.

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