As I write this, my favorite tree is being pruned. I can hardly bear to watch it happen. I know it's necessary for the health of this beautiful, mature cherry tree, but my heart leaps into my throat with every twig and branch that is gently removed. When I take a branch off of that tree, I feel fine about it. When others do, I wonder if they are as kind to the tree and if they love it as much as I do.
Of course the answer is, "no." They don't love my tree, why would they? That simple fact makes them immeasurably more qualified to do the work than I am. The tree trimmer trims hundreds of trees and looks at it with an impartial eye. Where I might see a limb that still has a chance, they see a limb that is dying and taking resources that will help the rest of the tree maintain its health.
What can all of this possibly have to do with communications? I'm glad you asked. Most of us feel the same sense of dread when we hand over our work for feedback or editing. Will the person who is reviewing our project give it the same loving consideration we would?
They won't. That's exactly why we ask them to do that work.
An editor prunes our writing to make the final project more understandable. A communications expert reviews our websites, brochures and other materials and reworks them to reach as many people as possible. Even media trainers help us to tailor our responses to questions or make our body language clearer. I am all three of these things and I still ask others to review my work all the time. I am simply too close to it.
If asking someone to come into your operation and take an impartial look at your products and processes makes your heart leap into your throat, I get it. I also promise you that in the end, much like my tree, your communications will be healthier and more able to grow.
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