Enervation & Communication
Terry Braverman and Company

Enervation & Communication




QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw  


Continuing the ongoing theme from last week of how to sustain our energy levels, we move from the emotional/spiritual component (connecting to purpose) and the physiological (deep breathing) to the mental/interactive: communication.


It’s estimated that 80% of all mistakes, miscues, malfunctions in the workplace, call them what you want, are due to sloppy communication. When this issue goes unaddressed and is allowed to fester in the form of unresolved conflict, most everyone’s energy level sags and productivity starts to plummet. Withheld communication, whether in the form of suppressed opinions or feelings, become a concrete albatross to the goals and objectives shared within an organization.


Withholds need to be shown in the bright light of safe scrutiny with the intent to resolve. Establishing a culture where this process is given high level support staffed with highly skilled communicators is essential. When people know that issues like miscommunication or personality friction are going to be dealt with fairly and effectively, a sense of trust and confidence pervades. Good communication interventions are a crucial component of sustaining high energy levels in the workplace.          


In addition to competent communication intervention, employees in all departments should have training in state of the art communication skills. Some executives will dismiss the notion with a “we can’t afford it” objection. They need to realize how much it costs the company when miscommunications lead to enormous reparations. Strategies such as how to recognize different personality types and deal with them when they are under stress will save the company lots of money in the long run. Learning how to adapt one’s communication style to understand others is a flexibility skill, paying dividends in warding off misunderstandings that snowball into stormy fiascos.          




These are the all-time nominees for the Chevrolet Nova Award. This is given in honor of the General Motors snafu in the ‘70s, trying to market this car in Latin America. "No va" means, "No go," in Spanish.


1. The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation meant, "Are you lactating?"


2. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market that promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).


3. Pepsi's "Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave" in Chinese.


4. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela," meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect.  Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", meaning "happiness in the mouth."


5. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."


6. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly in Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish!




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