16 July 2019

Why we all need to stop saying ‘comms isn’t pink and fluffy’…

The subconscious is an amazing thing. It likes to keep things simple and it can’t process a negative like 'don’t' or 'isn’t'.

See what we’re saying? Our Strategist Jodi is on hand to explain…

Don’t think of a blue elephant… (Guarantee you did)

I’m not saying she’s rude, but… (She’s rude)

Comms isn’t pink and fluffy… (You get my point)

If you want to lead someone’s thinking and communicate effectively, start talking about things positively. This doesn’t mean you have to start sharing #lifecoachingquotes. Instead, start talking about what things are, rather than what they’re not.

If comms isn’t pink and fluffy, then what is it? If you don’t want to be skint, what do you want to be instead? Give yourself and others the real subject of your thinking. Don’t detract from it by focusing on something irrelevant.


It’s all in the language

Imagine wanting to find an image of a Mercedes on Google. Would you type ‘not a Volkswagen’ into the search box? Of course not. Because the results would be flooded by VWs.

And yet even on a personal level, we set goals led by what we don’t want. We’re actually quite sophisticated about doing this, so it can be tricky to spot. We often don’t realise that the subject of our goal is mostly about what we don’t want because of the words we use.

We might say: ‘I want to be smoke-free’

Our subconscious hears: ‘I want smoke’

Say it in the positive: ‘I want healthy, clean lungs’


Another thing we might say is: ‘I want to lose weight’

 But what our subconscious hears is: ‘I want weight’

And when we say it in the positive: ‘I want a healthy relationship with food’


So, when we say: ‘Comms isn’t pink and fluffy’

Naturally, our subconscious hears: ‘Comms is pink and fluffy’

That’s why we need to say: ‘Comms is a complex subject.’

So, think about what language you’re using when you choose your personal goals or your employee comms. If even one teeny-tiny word of the thing you don’t want has crept into it, change it.


Clear, positive goals

Once you’ve created a clear goal, said positively, your subconscious has the conditions it needs to get to work. It’ll align your filters to start noticing more about the desired outcome – through your senses! Relevant information will find its way to you through the things you see, the things you hear and the actions you take.

I’ll give you another example.

Nita decides that she really doesn’t like where she lives. She thinks to herself and says to others ‘I wish I didn’t live here’. It’s stated in the negative, so her subconscious hears ‘I wish I live here’, which is what it aligns its filters to focus on (and bring her more of!).

Then what happens next is:

  • She has the same conversations with lots of people detailing all the reasons she isn’t happy about her current living arrangement
  • Others share their living horror stories back to her
  • She starts noticing other places she wouldn’t like to live (and switches off to opportunities)
  • Her energy and morale is lowered, she feels isolated by her situation
  • This feeds into a negative loop, affecting other things in her life such as relationships and work.

This is a simple example, but you can see how Nita would start to feel disempowered, making necessary change seem difficult. Because her thinking focuses on how bad her current situation is, and doesn’t align to a clear objective, she is likely to feel like this situation is a growing obstruction to living a happy life.

Alternatively, Nita decides that she really doesn’t like where she lives. She thinks to herself and says to others ‘I’m ready for change – I want to move house’. This is a clear and positively stated goal – and because what she says is congruent with what she wants, magical things start to happen behind the scenes of her conscious.

Now, what happens is:

  • She has conversations with lots of people asking questions about their successful house moves
  • Others share their positive experiences with her, plus useful information she can use
  • She starts noticing places that she’d love to live (and switches on to opportunities)
  • Her energy and morale starts to raise, she feels connected to possibility and choice
  • This feeds into a positive loop, affecting other things in her life such as relationships and work.

I think we all get the point. Say what you want = get what you want. Say what you don’t want = get more of that.


So, if comms isn’t pink and fluffy, what is it?

Ann Summers hand-cuffs are pink and fluffy. Internal communications is an art and a science. Excellent communications require highly skilled and passionate experts – who are always strengthening their IC game.

Comms can be easily measured through vanity metrics and channel audits, yes. But what about engagement – the human bit?

The waking up before the alarm, the advocacy on social media, pride, extra hours, the blood, sweat and tears, the above and beyond? The irreplaceable employee? Their purpose and connection? How do we measure that? The truth is, we can’t really. But we can get close by showing inextricable links between exceptional comms and engagement, people and profit.


As well as measuring engagement, we also offer coaching and training in subjects like this one. If you’re interested in optimising your thinking, language and behaviour to achieve your desired outcomes, get in touch with our NLP coach Jodi, who would be happy to chat.

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