If I told you I wanted a “Light Blue Suit”, what comes to mind – a sky blue suit or a navy suit in a lightweight fabric?
Both are technically light blue suits, yet they are distinctly different items. I ask this question because a while ago in a conversation with a friend, he mentioned that he wanted a “light blue suit”. I immediately thought of the sky blue variety…he meant the other. (It was a good thing he didn’t give me the task of purchasing it for him…he would have been very disappointed and probably annoyed, thinking that I could not follow his simple instructions!)
This conversation started me thinking about the many ‘light blue suit’ moments I’ve had in my career. “The Light Blue Suit” illustrates that the simple act of communicating isn’t all that simple. Communications are often built on an underlying assumption that we generally understand what is being said… you can’t question every word. The problem is, the listener and the speaker must be aware enough to recognize when communication is not definitive (could have more than one meaning) and be aware enough to question when the communication itself lacks that clarity.
In a continuous improvement environment communication is key to long-term success so take great strides to be certain everyone is clear about the rules, their roles and their responsibilities.
If you have a funny “Light Blue Suit” moment you’d like to share or if you’d like to explore the topic of communication and leadership, drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen C. Fahey, Managing Partner