Today's New York Times asks whether
women make better managers than men. I'll let their server melt over
that issue. But it occurs to me to that communication people ought to
consider a similar question:
For all our skill with the
language and the mechanisms of communication, for all our understanding
about how human beings receive information, for all our expressed fear
and loathing of senior executives who "just don't get it" when it comes
to communication … do we really run our communication departments any
better than the IT director runs hers or the accounting manager his?
my experience, as a consultant to communication departments and a
correspondent with many communicators, the answer is, no. Yes, there
are wonderful bosses in this business, and I could name you 10 off the
top of my head. But 10 tyrants come to me just as easily, and aside
from them, I can think of lots of ineffectual mopes, cowards, and
Communicators, does our training make us any better
at managing our people—and managing relationships with others in the
organization—than the next middle-management jamoke?
I say, sadly, no. Cheer me up with a powerful rebuttal!