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.