19 Jul Waiting For Roast Duck….

There are lessons that you learn through life which stick with you, the main one being is that your mother was ALWAYS right, retrospective of course and it often hurts to admit it.

One little lesson that has stuck with me was from a department director who would never allow the word “very” to be used in any communication or script.  I was a credit manager in a City bank (yes I admit to having been a City banker but it was a long time ago when Greece’s credit rating was AAA).  His argument was that something either was or wasn’t, it was either urgent or it wasn’t urgent, it was black or it was white; “very” was superfluous and it is a word I have to think quite hard about using to this day.  Actually “quite” might fall into the same category.

Clichés are also so easy to use, but after having watched The Apprentice final on Sunday evening and hearing Jim’s final clanger, “I am what you see on the tin” I will also think hard (not “very” hard) before doing so.

Being succinct is important in communicating in all areas of life, but communication is a two way thing and we also have to listen and clarify the outcome before we take action.   I am reminded of a story, which you may well have heard before but is worth repeating.

A young engineer was leaving the office at 5:45 pm when he found his agitated 70 year old, legendary, CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

‘Listen,’ said the CEO ‘this is a very sensitive and important document and my secretary is not here. Can you make this thing work?’

‘Certainly’ said the young engineer. He turned on the machine, inserted the paper and pressed the start button.

‘Excellent, excellent’ – said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine.  ‘I just need to Xerox 1 copy’ ….!

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