Richard Maun – Careful Whispers

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Careful Whispers

23 March 2014

George Michael sang about a Careless Whisper, back in 1984, which for some of us was a period of New Romantic fashion, that mixed pirate outfits with pig-tails and excessive over-hung shoulder pads. For other people of course the 80’s was a pantomime land that their mum and dad talk about with warmth. However, what ever your age the importance of the whisper can’t be underestimated.

A few weeks back I was listening to a talk about corporate social responsibility and the speaker mentioned the idea of a secret whisper and it struck a chord. In short – a whisper in general is what people say about you behind your back. A secret whisper is a business comment about you, for good, or for bad.

A careful whisper is us making sure we know what people are saying about us – and that we make sure to stay on-brand in the way we deal with customers and the world at large. For example, some of my clients have commented that I’m great at running interesting leadership workshops, which are fun and challenging (in a good way). They seem to like this as a package and tell other people….I’ve been met with a digest of these comments on a number of occasions. I do like to have fun and I think that learning can be at its best when it is fun. Life seems too short for dullness, so to avoid grey skies I might share witty stories, wave my wand about (yes, it’s made of Perspex) or introduce people to the legend that is Crow (my beady-eyed puppet pal).

The reason the whisper is careful though is because I am careful to make sure the fun doesn’t obscure the learning – items like Crow are properly introduced and are used in a safe and relevant way. I’m careful – because being careless takes us back to George Michael and his song, and we don’t want that.

So, this week take a moment to think about your branding and if you really uphold your brand values 100% of the time. It only takes a couple of careless tweets to come across as racist, sexist, bigoted, or just plain drunk and stupid. What do people whisper to others about you, or your staff?

Be careful and make sure you have careful whispers out there working for you!

Next week: You’re Not Alone


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© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact