“Do words really make a difference?”

SupermanThat was the sentence that caught my attention in a recent Thought for the Day by Rhidian Brook.

My automatic response was “B—-y hell, I hope so, otherwise I’m out of a job!”

I did realise that he wasn’t talking about corporate comms as his opening  reference was to General Zod – a warlord from Superman’s home planet Krypton and one of Superman’s more prominent enemies (according to Wikipedia – so it must be true!)  Having not seen Man of Steel, I understand from Brook’s reference that General  Zod is a sort of Ghandi -in-reverse type – where Ghandi advocates passive resistance, General Zod believes that lawmakers have led Krypton to ruin with endless debates, he demands action.

Beyond Superman, Brook’s real subject matter was the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the G8. In his piece, he was exploring themes such as:

  • The nature of power and how to wield it.
  • Can you have power without force or compulsion?
  • Is it ever right to enforce our will on others?
  • Do words really make a difference?

There are two possible ways of looking at it:

  1. As long as we are talking, we aren’t fighting, which only works as an argument if all parties are at the table
  2. Words without action are meaningless, which is where the debate starts to have more resonance with the function of internal comms.

Words are the tools of my trade: to explain, to influence, to illuminate and, ultimately, to motivate.

I spend varying amounts of time drafting effective communication strategies and action plans, helping the development of inspiring vision and mission statements, writing up engaging and illuminating stories to illustrate strategic themes.

The clue is in the adjectives: effective, inspiring, engaging, illuminating.

They are purposeful and action-oriented. Remove these and what is left is just words, and not what I am hired for.


About madeleinekavanagh

Internal comms specialist with a career spanning advertising, car sales and management consulting. My greatest legacy (so far) - my son!
This entry was posted in Authentic communication, Corporate Communications, Internal communications, Story telling and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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