For example, if I say to my lovely wife "wow, you look really hot today" there is a chance (maybe a great chance) that she'll interpret that to mean "gawd, you usually look awful but today not so bad." And so it goes pretty much with the rest of the people I love. Ya know, being a person that who has made a living from words, you would think I would be better at it.
I've searched to understand how these miscommunications can happen. I have arrived at an indisputable conclusion. It's the corporation's fault. I've worked in one for 35 years or so and have been irreparably damaged. I am communication challenged. I really can't get it right in a personal way anymore, but in a "personnel" way, I am mad good. Especially when it comes to delivering bad news to employees!
I have advanced my skills beyond the tired worn-out "downsizing", "outsourcing," "reorganizing". I am even beyond "offshoring" now. Employees know what these mean without a doubt.
So, I recommend that embrace creativity, put some verve and obfuscation in your messages especially when you are foreshadowing bad news. Following are some not so clear yet not so obscure messages that foretell a reduction in salary (to $0) for employees but keeps management feeling they've kept the employees "in the loop." My comments on each follow each message in parens.
New Ways to Say You Are In Danger of Losing Your Job
We are not going to downsize, but we are looking at an "adjustment of skill mix" based on a rigorous analysis of customer needs. (This is the "Rightsize" gambit, thinly veiled.)
We should always hone and develop our skill set so we can examine and advance our career alternatives. (Especially now. And soon.)
We need to make a "correction of sub-optimal sales force deployment." (Means your sub-optimal salary may stop soon.)
We're entering a "De-recruitment cycle." (Means you will have to post for your own job.)
Although we don't anticipate a reorganization, we may pursue "enterprise delayering." (You can might be one of the "layers!")
Using the principles of "force deployment rationalization," we'll reach new heights. (This insinuates that your employment is holding the company back.)
We'll promptly notify all those who will receive "involuntary offers." (It will be an offer you can't refuse.)
We need to make "knowledge-based assets" corrections. (This means if you know someone important, you may not be fired.)
After a period of resource transitioning, we'll enter one of selective de-massing with vocational relocation. (If you can figure this one out early, perhaps you can avoid being de-massed.)
So, you can see I can really deliver the best head-scratchin', forehead slappin' messages to inform and amaze the corporate audience thus keeping management pleased and the employees confused.
So why can't I tell my wife she looks hot, my daughters that they look like they lost weight and my sons that they are making better decisions-- without insulting the whole pack of them!??