This week a female piloting a flight in Canada was left a note from a passenger informing her that “the cockpit was no place for a woman”.

Her response was to post a picture of the note on Facebook and take the position that the way to change this attitude is through more women becoming pilots.

The instant reaction of course is outrage (if you think the note was offensive) or appreciation (if you share his attitude).

Either way, neither side of this discussion (the passenger or the pilot) will change their attitude via this form of communication.  The only thing that will be accomplished from this is further entrenchment of existing views.

There is a lot of “communication” out there, particularly with the immersion of our culture in social media (and apparently napkin writing).  In this age of blurting out what ever enters your head, our ability to communicate effectively is only going to degenerate unless we pause.

  • PAUSE and consider: do I really need to communicate this thought?
  • PAUSE and consider: does the recipient need to hear or read this thought?
  • PAUSE and consider: will I accomplish anything productive by  communicating this thought?

If the answer to any of the questions above is NO then perhaps there is no point in communicating your thought.

If we want the things we communicate to have cut through, perhaps we need to think and act a little differently.

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Written by Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.