150 year-old wisdom that still applies today
Ralph Waldo Emerson was a legendary speaker, essayist and poet who, perhaps not surprisingly for a man who published dozens of groundbreaking essays and delivered thousands of lectures, has a long list of quotes that have survived the nearly 150 years since his passing.
Here is this week’s Crisis Management Quotable, from the man whose friends called him “The Sage of Concord”:
“Who you are is speaking so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
So what the heck does that mean? Can’t I just say the right words and have everyone in the palm of my hand?
What you say is only one part of the equation when it comes to crisis communications, and many other factors come into play before you ever reach word one.
Imagine a CEO walking to the podium to address a terrible accident at one of their company’s plants with a sneer on their face, or, perhaps even worse, a bounce in their step. Is that audience going to be receptive to ANYTHING they say after? No way! They may stand and listen, but in their minds the CEO has already been labeled as arrogant or uncaring, a label that can literally taint every single action the entire organization takes after that point. The same can be said for a spokesperson with a reputation of dishonesty – they simply get no traction.
Whether you bring in a professional media trainer, grab a few colleagues and record one another, or use your smartphone and a full-length mirror at home, ensure that your nonverbal communications are sending the same communication as your verbal ones, or you risk sending the wrong message.
Social Media Manager