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A virus is a successfully communicated message

What is communication? Is it the words we speak? The language we use? The context we choose? Yes. Yes. Yes. and, it's all the parts we don't see or feel. Contingent on context, there are many definitions for "communication." Given the Covid-19 era we are living in now, the version I have heard most often and connect with strongly is found in sentences like "How is the virus communicated" or "the communication of the virus is challenging to manage." This version of the word implies transmission from point A to point B... person to person. Successfully transmitting a virus relies not only on a sneeze or cough. One small droplet may not transmit the illness. However, proximity to one another, length of time together and particular viral load all determine whether the illness spreads. It's a loud concert of sneezes that none of us want to attend.


A message is contingent upon two main components: verbal and non verbal. In other words, the words you are using and the way you are using them (tactic or strategy to get in front of the right person). Of course, you can't nail either one of these without truly understanding your audience. However, assuming that is taken care of, it is critical to consider the words AND the method. I coach my clients all the time on the impact of delivery: Perhaps you need to consider methods other than email if your target audience is not at a computer all day. When rehearsing for a pitch, have you nailed the right stories that will resonate most with your audience so that conversation and impact can flow? These are the aspects of communication that have far more reach than words alone. If you want your message to be communicated as swiftly as a virus, you had better consider the words AND the method.


Wishing us all a year of health and kindness, where we can stop the communication of Covid and feel safe again.


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