If institutions are going to become more culturally sensitive, their communicators have to be more than well-intentioned. Rather than trying to walk in the other person’s shoes—how about let’s hire a communicator who walks in her own shoes, all the way to work?
Did you know that before Guy Snodgrass served for two years as director of communications and chief speechwriter to U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, he flew Navy fighters in combat and was a TOP-GUN instructor?
If you are not feverishly working on a memo or a crafting an executive presentation or researching an internal position paper on the subject of how your leader describes your company’s position in society, then you are one of the less effective Seven Dwarves: Sleepy, Bashful or Dopey.
Listen more carefully. Choose battles more wisely. Avoid insulting people accidentally. Think more generously. Argue more productively. Repair relationships worth repairing (and stop trying to fix the Hindenburg). Use humor as a salve and not a hammer. Make peace in your life, contribute to a more cohesive family, community, workplace and society.