The difference a word makes…

There are certain times in our lives that stand out, and when you remember them back you can recall vividly the sensory experience – where you were when that certain event happened, what music was playing, the smells around you, and crucially, how you felt.

For many people it’s huge moments like JFK being shot, Princess Diana’s death or 9/11, or in their own lives it’s news of a loved one dying or that moment when a proposal took place.

Within internal communication there are numerous opportunities to make a difference to the lives of employees, both good and bad, and we have a real responsibility and accountability to choose our words and actions carefully.

Only the other week I wrote about the ex-HR Director at the BBC who was criticised for her ‘pompous’ and ‘crap’ emails internally. It’s now been superseded by the infamous “Hello there” internal email from Stephen Elop to Microsoft employees – read the full story here if you’ve not come across it yet.

The reason this all springs to mind is because I received some life-changing news of my own about a month ago, and one tiny word changed my world.

The difference a word makes…

My husband and I went to hospital for our 12 week antenatal check-up as I am expecting our second child. Now anyone who has watched any good chick flick, or in fact any film whatsoever that features a sonographer (scanner), knows that in the films the moment they turn the screen on is somewhat of a big deal.

It flickers into focus and you get to see the little life for the first time and it’s typically followed by a comment from the person doing the scanning.

What was the word that changed my world?… twins.

There was no big announcement, no build up, just a very functional sonographer, turning the machine on and muttering, almost to himself: “Right, aha, multiples, twins.” At that moment my world changed, but for him it was business as usual and probably something he sees every day.

Being a communicator by trade, I’m sure you can imagine my reflections on that moment and the way it was handled! I zipped straight through the change curve in the shortest amount of time ever – it took about a week to properly sink in.

However, suffice to say, we’re beyond delighted and making lots of plans for the months ahead, and my just turned two-year-old daughter is very much looking forward to her new role as big sister.

I’d started to be approached by readers of my blog who had spotted photos of me at various events in recent weeks sporting a bump and received numerous DMs on Twitter from people in my network as the grapevine is clearly active. So, I thought I’d do something I rarely do, and write a personal post to share my news.

Thank you to everyone who has got in touch – the world of comms truly is a small one! I’ve been informing my clients and had to cancel a number of speaking engagements towards the end of the year, particularly the European ones as I’ll be unable to travel.

I’m very much looking forward to the adventures ahead – and have every intention of continuing blogging, just as I did in my last maternity leave.

Hope everyone has a good week, do look out for my next free internal comms podcast which is due out this week.

Don’t forget if you’re looking for a new role there are 35+ on my new jobs page (there are some cracking roles on there including O2, Facebook and Harrods), plus you can now subscribe to my blog via email to never miss a post.


First published: 28 July 2014.

Post author: Rachel Miller.

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