And here are two reasons why this is an example of communications gone wrong:
1.The headline has nothing to do with why you came to this blog – to read about work and chronic illness.
2. If you’re a subscriber, then you get this the day after I write it – the Monday after the Superbowl. And reading this headline the day after the event will make you scratch your head, wondering why you should bother to read on.
Many years ago, I was the only woman in a room full of guys, all at least a decade older than me, all senior management in a Fortune 500. I was there to help them plan the yearly sales meeting. They were talking about the NBA playoffs and I’d just seen a game. But they literally ignored me when I described a great play I’d seen (after all, what did a woman know about the game?) They paid close attention, however, when I gave them feedback on their speeches.
And, here’s where this ties in to talking about chronic illness at work:
- You’re got to consider your audience – what do you need to say so they understand when you talk about fatigue or pain?
- Set the tone with your words and behavior – don’t display your emotions if you’re trying to show you’ve got the situation under control.
- Pick the time and setting to talk about it so you can shape your message rather than having to “punt” .
Do you fumble for the right words?
There are lots of self help books that teach you how to talk to your boss, your colleague, even your spouse. But none that focus on how to do it when chronic illness is the subject.
If you want to get an in depth idea of what you can say, when and why – my Guidebook, Are You Talking? is filled with strategies and tactics for talking about your illness – in the different situations that you inevitably find yourself in.
So, is it Tom Brady or Eli Manning? What do you do to feel “normal” and more part of the world? Are you just too sick and overwhelmed to care?