Communicate like you’re still on holiday

Communicate like you're still on holiday

If you’re back at your desk after taking some time off you may well be feeling a little disconnected. Once you’ve waded through the sea of emails, you could well be wondering what it is you’re actually doing there!

Before you dive completely back into the old routine it’s worth holding onto this holiday feeling for a little longer. We don’t mean ordering a Pina Colada and wrestling yourself back into your bikini, but we do mean stay in the frame of mind where you connect with the more important stuff in life.

Let me explain.

If you met someone on the beach in August and they asked what you do, you won’t have talked to them using jargon. You’d have chatted in plain English, making it as clear as possible what you do and why do it. It’s hard to actually talk in jargon, yet business writing is mired in it.

We know a very lovely actuary (not usually a profession known for its simplicity) who when asked what he does replies ‘I make sure old ladies get the pensions they’ve been promised’. He could have said ‘I offer consultancy advice on pensions arrangements to trustees and their members’ but I don’t think that would have quite the same impact. Not exactly a great conversation starter around the pool!

Connecting with the ‘why’ of what you do like our actuary friend is really important. Both to keep you energised and motivated – we all want to feel that we’re making a positive difference to the world – but also to help you communicate it in the right way.

So don’t let go of any holiday dreaming plans you had to make life simpler on your return to work. You might not be able to change everything about your business, but you can change the way you think, talk and write about it.

Pledge to communicate with the people your business helps in the same way you’d talk to new holiday friends. Clear, simple, straightforward.

And welcome back!

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  1. Shaun Holmes

    Sharon I have to start by saying I hardly ever take my bikini off 😉 now that your mind is truly distorted let me share my hero’s recent tweet which substantiates your article.

    Incase the code below does not work, Jeremy Clarkson tweeted a picture of an advert by Accenture which reads: “We added technology to strategy. You get the multiplier effect” He simply commented “What does this even mean?”

    In my opinion Accenture = Fail! The thousands that commented etc mostly agree too.

    What does this even mean?— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) August 31, 2014

  2. Sharon Tanton

    Ha! Thanks Shaun. Me and Jeremy Clarkson are in agreement!
    ‘What does this even mean?’ is a REALLY good question to ask yourself before you send anything out. So easy to slip into marketing speak and jargon, and it does you no favours at all.

  3. Nick Charles

    I was recently asked by my girlfriends mother what I did. I replied business development and support. She asked, what did I actually do?! I then answered “I sit at my desk using a computer and phone to talk to people about stuff.” She understood what I did. I didn’t mention the Pina Colada at the end of every day!

  4. Sharon Tanton

    Yes, ‘what do you actually do?’ is a good question!
    Also, I think we might need to get some Pina Colada for the office. Thanks for commenting Nick, see you soon.


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