terça-feira, 20 de julho de 2010

Speaking human

Daniel Pink is one of my favourite thinkers. This month, Sunday Telegraph has published an article about the «dialect bizarre, distanced, and vaguely incoherent that we often use in business». Some weeks ago I wrote a post about structured communication among people at work, based on Lynda Gratton research.

Here is what Pink has writen: «Jason Fried, co-founder of the American software firm 37 Signals and co-author of ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever, finds the language of that statement almost as inhuman as the problem that prompted it.
Not too long ago, Fried saw a similar, though less calamitous, disaster in a Chicago cafe. A woman had just purchased a large cup of coffee. On the way to sit down, she tripped, and spilled the entire contents all over another customer.
Here’s what she said: “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”
“If someone is really, truly sorry,” says Fried, “that’s how they respond.”
But in business we rarely talk like that. Instead, we resort to a weird and inadvertent bilingualism. We speak human at home and “professionalese” at work. And that might be hurting our businesses more than we realise. (...)

In a world awash in information and choices, clarity is now a source of competitive advantage, says Fried. “The real winners in business are going to be the clear companies. Clarity is what everybody really wants and appreciates.”»

We realise that something must change in the field of communication. The world lives now among a feeling of distrust. The structured speeches are becoming old fashioned. As Pink writes, «we need clarity», that leads to honesty. Structured conversation always hides something and is based on status quo.