Discover more from The Lore
THE LIST: It's not funny that we don't talk anymore.
Something new for storytellers to read, watch, look at, listen to and do, every Saturday.
Happy Saturday! This week I have mostly been working on getting my International Coaching Federation certificates. Since the beginning of the “new normal” I have observed that the quality of interpersonal communications has taken a dive, social distancing has created a communications gap, which I see playing out in organisations every day.
The communications gap is what leads to misunderstands, poor briefings, wasted time and money because, “Oh, I thought you meant…”. It is responsible for a rise in busy-work as people no longer tell each other what they’ve been up to but write endless, largely unread, “decks” about it. It’s partly what leads to “quiet quitting” as people no longer feel an affinity with each other and therefore have no compunction about doing the bare minimum and letting someone else pick up the slack.
The culture of a company is created by its people as opposed to the strategy, which is created by leadership and/or some external consultancy, and if “culture eats strategy for breakfast” then people, communicating, collaborating and looking out for each other is essential. All of which should explain why I am getting my coaching certs, so I can continue to help people communicate more clearly, concisely and creatively at an individual and organisational level. But learning is not confined to the classroom so here’s some extra curricular material to help you communicate more proper!
All the best, Neal.
One of the many reasons people don’t take the time to truly commune with their colleagues or write a comprehensive brief is the perception of always being busy. Oliver Burkeman, one of the leading writers on productivity, argues you’re not busy, you’re distracted by attempting to multitask which does not, will not and has never worked. His column in the NYT rung many bells for me and I am trying hard to take on one task at a time, trusting that each will get done, to a better quality and with less anxiety if I do: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/29/opinion/do-one-thing-at-a-time-management.html
(Tip - if the link is paywalled, try saving the URL to a bookmarking app like Pocket and reading it in that #yourewelcome).
As a writer I love the British Academy of Film & Television Arts annual Screenwriter’s Lectures, which you can watch free on their YouTube channel. Typically these speeches are delivered from behind a lectern, but why? There is no rule compelling them to do so, which is why one of my favourite lectures is by the incomparable Emma Thompson who, lest we forget, won her second Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. She decided the best way to communicate her process was to show not tell, which of course is the first rule of screenwriting. Watch an icon at work!
Listen to this…
‘Think Fast, Talk Smart’ is a podcast by Matt Abrams, a lecturer in strategic communications at Stanford Graduate School of Business, in which he tackles real world communications issues with some of the best in their field. Indispensable if you want to up your communications game - and brief too!
Sometimes (often actually), art articulates our thoughts and feelings better than we can, which is just one of the reasons I’ve booked tickets to the new play by locally based screenwriter and theatre practitioner James Thoo, opening on 25th August for three nights at the Goodman Arts Centre’s black box theatre in Singapore. It’s a comedy about a depressed woman who turns up unannounced at the home of her sister and brother-in-law, hellbent on understudying their perfect lives. Find out more and purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/trouble-came-tickets-668711322567.
If you’d like to learn to express yourself better through playwriting you might consider joining James’s class too: https://www.facebook.com/writersroomsg/.
I sold my first fictional story! Yes, someone actually paid a whole 99c to download my short(ish) story ‘Virtually Innocent’ on Kindle. A handful of others downloaded it for free during last weekend’s “sale” but for those with a Kindle Unlimited subscription it’s always free! If you’re into Black Mirror-esque horror about the worst possible consequences of tech, get in here…
P.S. I will send a free copy of ‘Virtually Innocent’ to anyone that can name the song AND artist I pay homage to in the title of this week’s edition of ‘The List’.