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Are you a Dragon or a Mouse?

19/04/2012

Are you a Dragon or a Mouse?
Written By: Brian Newton
Posted In: Business

 

How is the Chinese Year of the Dragon treating you?

 

Or, to give it it’s proper name, the Water Dragon.

 

I love finding out where words come from, don’t you? I’ve just discovered that our western word dragon comes from the Greek, drakan’, meaning ‘water dragon’. And this in turn comes from drakein’, meaning ‘to see more clearly’.

 

Makes me think of all those adventure stories I read as a young girl. You know, the ones with intricate here be dragons type maps in the opening pages. The dragons were always ancient wily old things you had to box clever with. Woe betide you if you looked one in the eye.
I distinctly remember one of those books. It was the story of Sparrowhawk, a young magician who successfully encounters the wisest of dragons before a fight to the death with a creature who is made powerful because it knows Sparrowhawk’s real name.

 

Who would have thought that a single word would have the power of life or death?  The story is all fantasy of course. But there’s a grain of truth in there, don’t you think? Words ARE potent. When you were a young girl did you write them down in diaries and lock them away? Were you one of those little boys who wrote ‘invisible’ messages in code and lemon juice? And now we’re ‘grown up’, how often do we kick ourselves for using the wrong word? Or failing to find the words entirely?

 

This communication lark is a tricky business. And it’s no different IN business.

 

We all respond to the emotive power of words. So why do so many businesses insist on using gobbledegook in their communications? What is it that happens to make people think that ‘business’ language is somehow different from the stuff we use the rest of the time?

 

You know the sort of thing. Long-winded, impenetrable sentences that mean more to the writer than they do the reader. Dull stuff you can barely be bothered to shrug a passing ‘so what’ at. And, my favourite (not!), all that beguiling doublespeak that’s effortless to read but leaves you asking, yeah, but what does it MEAN?

 

As you go deeper into the Chinese Year of the Water Dragon, ask yourself how clearly you see what needs to be done in your business. And how clear are you about how to harness words and language to help you achieve it?

 

Will you be a Dragon or a mouse?

 

 

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