Wednesday, July 30, 2008

De-Corporatize Your Communication

One of my favorite Dilbert's features Wally trading empty corporate slogans with the pointy-haired boss. When called on the carpet for a particularly hollow phrase ("I propose that we work smarter while broadening our focus."), Wally responds with, "Well, excuse my leadership!"

People in small business tend to get to the point much quicker and appreciate direct communication. Corporations--both intentionally and unintentionally--train employees on how to speak. One of the biggest pitfalls is that words become substitutes for action. Where's the synergy in that??

I have admittedly had to retrain myself on this as someone who can take some time in communicating my point, so this is a "do as I say, not as I do" post. Maybe part of it is my Southern roots, but certainly some of it comes from years in and around big companies. One adopts the vocabulary that is often used simply to fill the void created by meetings.

In the process of making this transition and talking to others in the small business arena, be cognizant of your communication. Get to the point and ask for what you want. And for Pete's sake, don't feel it necessary to put it in a Powerpoint!

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