Monday, September 06, 2010

3D Juggling 493: All Motherhood and Apple Pie

Su writes: "A puzzled colleague appeared from a meeting. What does ‘Motherhood and Apple Pie’ mean?  A manager had used this phrase a couple of times in passing, without explanation  and with the obvious expectation that those present at the meeting understood what on earth it was she was talking about.
Well, google is our friend at such times, so we accordingly interrogated the oracle on this. After some searching we discovered that there were two very separate answers. Motherhood and Apple Pie could mean: cosy but nebulous or alternatively unquestionable basic beliefs.

So what did the manager mean when she said this? Maybe half the room were imagining what was being described was something rather twee and non-specific while the others felt that this was something which was a requisite and indisputable tenet of fact. So at least two very different messages were being heard.
Sometimes we use language and metaphors that make absolute sense to us but are not understood by others: we risk then passing on incomplete or erroneous information.

Do check to make sure that everyone present is hearing the same thing.  Or maybe drop the Motherhood and Apple Pie phrase in to see whether anyone’s really listening. Just for fun."

Love this? If you need some help in your organisation to improve communication, come out for a cup of coffee with us to talk about how we can help you.  We'll pay!

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