Talking past

The Blackberry wasn’t talking to the computer according to John Lee, the very helpful IT man at the Campus today. Apparently, it’s not uncommon he said – it’s like they’re both talking in broken English and bits of communication are going back and forth but the full meaning isn’t getting through.

In the movie Sarah’s Key you hear English, French, Italian and  German. It’s a holocaust story of the French sending 76000 Jews out of France to Germany and Poland in July 1942. We all know what happened to these people.

One little girl survived and this is the story of Sarah. Even though there was a lot of different languages, everyone seemed to understand what they needed to, including us at the theatre. Much greater issues were at play in this story, however, and we recoil in horror at the separation of mothers, fathers, children. What would we do now it was asked at one point ? “I’d probably just sit there and watch it on TV like I watch the bombings of civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan” volunteered one young man.

John managed to “force” the contacts back into the system so I haven’t lost them and when the Blackberry is back I’ll hopefully have them back on the phone. 

Communication is fundamental to leadership and at times I’ll either underdo to empower or overdo it to make sure it’s clear (or maybe I’m anxious about the result!). Clarifying the important communication to avoid doubt seems sensible.

Are we watching what’s happening around us? Watching the miscommunication and misunderstandings? Or maybe we’re forcing our language through, when we sense it’s not getting through.

Leading through clear and transparent communication. That’s a great way to start the day. And you never know what you might learn. Like that John Lee’s grandparent’s originated from southern China, and there was a connection to Malaysia when it was a British colony. That was probably happening at around the time of the sad story of Sarah. This wasn’t my purpose in writing this blog, but my mind has moved to thinking we really are quite fortunate in this country to be overall, pretty tolerant. Let’s keep it that way.

It’s a well shot movie, of a dark period in our human history.

Stephen

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