Chapter III. Hoisting the banner of human. |or| The 9 pillars of human communication.

Why don’t we just skip the basics? You’re clever folk, and busy too — so let’s not roll around in the obvious. No tiresome talk of formality and punctuality (we’ll just file that under appropriate) — let’s get to the good stuff instead. 

Let’s begin by redefining the very bereft professional for relevance to a modern workplace, and attempt to create a workable definition that captures even half of what it means to be human.

Let’s define professional as: 

  • Performance: Doing the job at the highest level (not amateur).
  • Appropriate: to the company/brand, corporate culture, social culture, industry, and role.
  • Purposeful: has a reason (beyond compliance) — it strives to make a difference.
  • Leading: providing the vision, values, tools, information and environment for others to work at their best too.
  • Never at the expense of human.

Actually, let’s just be done with professional, and replace it with something better. On-brand, perhaps? A brand is the intangible feeling about a company that comes from the values and vision. Being on-brand isn’t prescriptive, it’s appropriate — to the job, the position, the company, and industry. It takes the best intentions of professional and brings it into a modern world, free from past perversions. Yes, on-brand is perfect for our purpose.

Let’s define human as:

  • Emotional: we feel things.
  • Real: we crave authentic and genuine.
  • Unique: we’re all different.
  • Empathetic: we have the ability to understand another’s points of view.
  • Conversational: we communicate — especially via stories.
  • Colourful: we have personalities.
  • Beliefs: we have different opinions.
  • Flawed: we make mistakes.
  • Social: we have a desire to connect*.

So — on-brand and human. Let’s put them together. 

Let’s create communication that:

  • Has purpose
  • Uses empathy 
  • Is authentic
  • Engages the senses 
  • Inspires curiosity
  • Embraces emotions 
  • Integrates stories
  • Considers humour
  • Opens a conversation

These pillars make messaging that people actually want to watch, read, or listen to — then motivates and inspires them to take action. And that’s the key: engaging and effective. Communication that changes something, or makes something happen… 

Dream result, right there.

* I may be the one exception to the rule.