During the Civil War, it was not unusual for newspaper reporters to cover the war by sending stories back to be published, while at the same time bringing news from home to the soldiers. A good form of communication. Here’s a form of bad wartime communication as described by attorney Paul Luvera.
President Franklin Roosevelt sent ambassador Winant to meet with Russia’s Molotov during World War II. In presenting Roosevelt’s message he opened with a few words of his own. He said he was going to “talk turkey on this issue.” Molotov interrupted with: “Turkey? What does Turkey have to do with the Baltic states?” The ambassador tried to explain patiently that “talking turkey” was merely an American expression meaning to talk seriously, but the suspicious Molotov could not or would not understand, and the meeting ended without any useful discussion of the presidents message. The ambassador never regained Roosevelt’s confidence after that.
In our work as lawyers, I have heard the following simple communication rules:
Be calm; Be slow; Be nice.
Pretty good reminders for life. I hope you have a great weekend!
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