When you give too much

Posted: July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Earlier in the week I read an article that outlined the horrible way a Microsoft executive told his employees they would be getting laid off. The article is an interesting but long read because, news of the layoff (and this is a big layoff thousands of employees) was told to the employees in a lengthy email (over 11 paragraphs long).  Now, before you read the email and start to spew hate for microsoft, please keep in mind I have yet to vet the article and see how true it is. Microsoft is doing layoffs but how they told each employee is really unknown to me. So, why would I even bring up the article at all? I bring it up because it demonstrates a point.

The email in the article is over 11 paragraphs long and doesn’t really tell the reader he or she is getting laid off until the 11th paragraph. That is not proper etiquette.  I like to talk, and listen. I like most people and I really feel like Larry King was onto something when he said “everyone is interesting”, however despite my love for articulation I understand that often times the best route to take (especially when dealing with some bad news like layoffs) is the succinct and direct route.  Wlhen the writer or speaker tries to expound on a fact before making the fact know the reader or listener can feel a lot like the goose. We give the goose all the good meals right before they are slaughtered for our holiday dinners. Many words are not needed when dealing with the presentation of most facts. Many unneeded words lead to some obfuscation and a source of frustration for our audience.


(this is a picture of the Microsoft honcho who allegedly drafted the long email Stephen Elop he was the head of Nokia. A cellphone company acquired by Microsoft. In spite of the layoffs, I feel with Microsoft and Nokia deal, some very interesting things are going to happen at Micrososft we will see)


Becoming a good communicator involves a respect and that respect means we have to respect our audiences time as well as their feelings on the matter we are presenting. We have to find a way to present them with the facts that involves candor as well as compassion and that is a fine line. If you tow this line though. Your words can be some powerful tools that will inspire generations. See Patton and Churchill.  If you fail to tow the line you can come off as a long winded jerk see Kanye West.


I guess the biggest secret is to know our audience and respect our audience. My apologies to Knaye, but man you make it to easy.







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