A word of advice

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Many years ago, when I was just starting out in Technical Communications, my boss at the time gave me a piece of advice. Every now and then it pops back into my head and, as well as allowing me a small smile, reminds me to do just what he suggested.

His advice was one word.

He didn’t explain it and, to be honest at the time I was a little befuddled. It took me a while to grasp the depth of what he was saying as, at first glance, as it is only one word it does seem very slight and somewhat obvious. Looking back now it even seems a little trite but, remembering the type of man he was, it was most certainly carefully considered and meant honestly and with compassion.

To this day, through all the different positions I’ve held in different organisations, and even into my personal life, his advice holds true. One day I hope I’ll be the type of boss he was, encouraging and enthusiastic, a real leader. Until then I continue to try and follow his advice and so far it’s served me well.

There are many circumstances in which it can be applied, whether you are at the start of a project and knee deep in planning meetings and specifications, or hurtling towards the deadline, grasping at every snippet of information that passes your way. Regardless, his single piece of advice, one simple word, holds true.

Pause.

That’s all there is to it. Don’t send that email, pause. Keen to start writing, pause. Desperate to just get the thing finished? Pause. About to finish a landmark, award winning project? Pause.

A simple word, a powerful piece of advice.