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How To Avoid Being Pompous At Work 21 June 2019

I had a great reminder the other day of how important it is to avoid (forgive me for the annoying word) “silos” at work.  Or, put more bluntly, not to be pompous. 

I was in our news studio, rehearsing to go on air with our late evening bulletin.  The director and producer were in the control room along with the sound engineer, linked to me at the studio desk via my earpiece.  

Standing a few feet in front of me in the studio was the camera operator, Andy, lining up the three cameras.

The rehearsal seemed to have gone well, and then Andy said (about four minutes before we went on air) “Look, I know I’m not a journalist, but do you mind if I mention that, er, I didn’t quite understand that sentence in the introduction to opening story about those hospital statistics …”  

I read it again, and saw his point.  I had written it rather clumsily.  It was a bit ambiguous.  The team in the control room had overheard this.  Zoe, the director, said quietly through my earpiece that she’d wondered what it meant, too. 

So I rewrote it, grateful for the insights, and I think our viewers will have had a  much better understanding of the story as a result. 

What would be the equivalent situation at your workplace?  Which silos do you put up with — these people do this, those people do that, and woe betide anyone who expresses an opinion on each other?  It doesn’t apply in all industries, of course — I’m not suggesting that the Head of Hospital Finance has a shot at some delicate surgery in the operating theatre.   But if you’re in the communications business, I reckon anyone with a mouth and an ear is worth listening to, whether they’re a comms expert or not. 


If you’d like to develop your team’s confidence in speaking up and sharing ideas, my one hour Getting It Done By Lunchtime workshop might do the trick …

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