Last night there was a party in one of the apartments facing my backyard. The music was playing annoyingly loudly – or so I thought. Suddenly another neighbor started to play his electronic guitar at an even higher volume. His plan was to get the other party’s guests to stop the noise.
The lesson here? My loud was not their loud was not his loud.
Yesterday, one of my planning colleagues made himself a cup of tea and offered to bring one to another colleague. When he returned five minutes later, he put the cup in front of her – announcing to our bewildered faces that he had already skulled his tea while having a cigarette.
The lesson here? My hot probably is not his hot.
It is so obvious, nevertheless it is still interesting.
All day long, especially in the creative industry, we are talking to each other about fine nuances of one and the same thing, mostly on a very subjective dimension. Different nuances of “authenticity” or shades of grey. It reminded me that we have to be precise in what we say. And we have to anticipate that there is always room for interpretation.
Marketing buzzwords, once designed to help, don’t always help. Maybe because nobody has ever known what exactly they meant anyway. And today every few weeks there are just too many new ones added to our vocabulary. They became hollow words behind which the stressed marketeer and agency representative can easily hide.
What we can do against it?
Favor the direct way over the indirect way.
- Be simple and talk to each other more often. The more immediate a conversation can be, the better the understanding. (By “immediate” I don’t mean only the time aspect, more importantly I mean the physical distance.)
- Don’t beat around the bush. I do understand that sometimes there are occasions where you can’t say exactly what’s on your mind. But in all other moments do it. Say what you don’t like, address the problem in a positive manner.
- Make things together. The more concrete doing is involved in a conversation, the better the overlap between want and get, the bigger the satisfaction among participants.
I think we’d all benefit from less room for interpretation and more action.