Recently I received some feedback on a piece I wrote, which I didn’t like. I didn’t agree with the reader’s assessment. It was clear she didn’t understand my message, but I was resolute: insisting my message was clear. So, I did what any frustrated Enneagram Type Nine would do.
I didn’t “fix” it, I didn’t publish it. I filed it away in my “people don’t understand” part of my brain. And I continued plowing through the motions of daily life, smiling like a zombie.
At Toastmasters International, I recall an accomplished speaker say, “If you don’t understand, it’s still my fault. As a speaker, it’s on me to communicate with you.” This has haunted me to this day. I still think there is something lacking if a teacher addresses the lowest common denominator. This happened with my young daughter’s dance routine two years ago. There was a 3 year old in a class with three 5 year olds, and the class was taught at the 3 year old’s level and pace. It can be frustrating to watch.
But there is something to speaking the language of the people. When I update my resume, I am at war with myself, knowing the need to use buzzwords, and hating myself for doing so. I detest the use of superfluous adjectives and adverbs for the sake of adding more syllables in a sentence. Do you remember what the King said to Mozart in the movie Amadeus? “There were too many notes.” Which was ridiculous, but proved another point.
You can’t handle the truth.
Doesn’t mean that I have to be inauthentic in my writing (which is really self- representation, isn’t it?). After all when I use “innovative” in my resume instead of “creative,” it is because I made a conscious decision to speak the language of business folk. That makes an appropriate word choice. I am not going to send one of my poems to an HR representative. There is a social understanding that the appropriate format for such employment query is the Resume.
So, if I need to include subheadings and outline paragraphs in a guest blog post, I can do that. It’s not what feels most authentic to me, but it is appropriate for the website audience. We live in a highly visual, short & simple Twitter Instagram world. Guess I need to learn how to create GIFs.