Bimbo Banter


It’s Snowing Communication Lessons


  • Leadership
  • December 15, 2016
  • by Laura Barnett

Img 7384

Since the chances of a white Christmas in Dallas are generally slim, I jumped at the chance to see snow in the Rockies for a client this week. We always tell people to ask “Who’s my audience?” That became scarily apparent to me when I was trekking along I-70 from Denver to my destination. My flight landed at sunset so I was headed west in the dark in my 4WD SUV (yes, that’s important and you’ll learn why shortly!). Navigating through the twists and turns on the interstate, I looked to my right and saw a pack of bighorn sheep grazing on the least-frozen grass they could find. Who’s my audience? If your audience or environment is in a majestic nature setting, fully expect to see a half dozen bighorn sheep hanging out by the highway—and know that might be normal to your audience. They came as a big surprise to me and quick reflexes prevented a collision.

The next morning, I woke up to news of an avalanche warning. This Texan paid close attention to the details—and especially the word “avalanche”— as my travels would include a drive halfway up a large, snow-covered peak. As we know in crisis situations, conditions can change quickly and drastically. Fortunately, the warning was only that. However, it helps to stay informed and be prepared – about the weather, business and the appearance of bighorn sheep.

My favorite story from my trip happened about an hour after seeing the avalanche warning. I bundled up and headed to the parking lot to drive to my session. I climbed in my trusty 4WD SUV (told you it would make another appearance!) and nothing happened. Sure, it would turn on and blessedly the seat warmers worked, but I couldn’t go. As well-prepared as I was with the right equipment, I was momentarily helpless.

I spotted a gentleman with dealer tags on his truck – not a rental car like mine—so surely he would know what to do. I politely asked for his help, explaining that as a Texan, I was unfamiliar with driving in these conditions. Another gentleman rumbled by in his pickup and these two strangers worked together to push me out of my parking spot. I waved my thanks and called out my appreciation and gratitude. Twenty minutes later, I was at my destination. Ten minutes after that, both men appeared at the session where I was speaking. I was able to shake their hands and thank them face-to-face, not just by calling out a car window.

While you may be well-prepared – getting the right equipment and giving yourself plenty of time, the Beatles said it best – you may need to get by with the little help from your friends.


Photo Gallery:

Img 7384

Photo Gallery:

You May Also Like


Blogimage2
05.08.19

Should A CEO Be Spontaneous?

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer: Expectations for CEOs revealed that people (63 percent of respondents) want a CEO who “speaks spontaneously over one who delivers well-rehearsed speeches.” We submit this is a totally false choice. What people are really… more 

Matthias-blonski-72714-unsplash
11.20.18

A CEO’s Survival Guide

The Wall Street Journal just savaged GE’s new CEO, Larry Culp. Many of their criticisms are unfair but reporter John Stoll’s column provides an excellent coaching tool for communication staff. Culp went on CNBC, and the company stock… more 

Memphis skyline from the air
10.05.18

Believe in Memphis

Sometimes you get to see the heart and soul of a city. Yesterday was one of those times for anyone at the memorial service in Memphis for a man named Phil Trenary. Phil was the former CEO of… more 


Back to Top