5 useful reminders about communication from a 5-year-old

With as many bedroom forts, pillow fights and tea parties they throw, it’s no wonder we can learn a thing (or five) about communications from youngsters.

But there are two things in my life that make me go “ah,” and that’s my nieces, who are 4 and 5 years old.

Unfortunately, I don’t get to see them as often as I would like—they live a few hours away—but last weekend I had the pleasure of looking after them.

With all the reading, painting, Disney Princess snap, Dora the Explorer computer games, and splashing through rivers in the forest, I realised that as communicators we can learn a lot from the younger (well, much younger) generation, and their way of viewing the world.

1. Don’t lie. Shame on me, but I might have told a couple of white lies over the weekend. “Yes, I’ll play Disney snap with you after dinner,” I said, and then not followed through because I had to go out. There is nothing quite like a 5-year-old to make you feel guilty. Honesty should be a core trait for any communicator. Despite the reputation that PR pros sometimes have as spin doctors, what we do, and the messages we send out, should always be truthful.

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