Are You Sending a Mixed Message?

This is going to be a rather short post as I think the point is very straight-forward.

An Interesting Experience

A few weeks ago I was in one of the large warehouse clubs. When I had finished paying and was heading out something struck me as very odd. They had begun to sell motorcycles. No, that’s not what was odd. The odd thing was that right beside the display of a motorcycle was a display for wheelchairs. Hmm, somehow I don’t think they realized that seeing the wheelchair just might cause someone to pause and consider whether purchasing a motorcycle was in the best interest of their health. It was definitely a mixed message. Similarly, I was walking through a bookstore and noticed that they had several books on whiskeys, home brewing, and other similar titles. However, I also noticed that right next to it was the section on addition recovery. Talk about a mixed message; that was it.

A Mixed Message

I know in both instances they had probably set-up the displays innocently, but still, something just seemed wrong about them. Was the warehouse store selling fun in the form of a motorcycle? Or, were they saying, hey look, you can buy a motorcycle, and if that doesn’t work out so well and you crash, come on back and purchase one of our wheelchairs? Obviously, they weren’t deliberately selling the second scenario. The bookstore was probably not trying to create the wrong impression either. But still, both were giving a mixed message whether intended or not.

What Message are You Sending?

We all do it. We say something that does not match our body language or worse does not match our actions. For example, occasionally someone will be trying to get you to agree to something while at the same time they are shaking their head no. Whether you or they consciously realize it, they are sending you a mixed message.

What Message is your Business Sending?

Do you say that customers are important and then proceed to ignore their feedback? Do you tell employees you are concerned about their development and then task them with the same thing day in and day out, never allowing them to take on new challenges? If so, you are sending a mixed message. This list goes on, but I think the idea is clear. “Be consistent in your messaging or you will confuse others and diminish your results.

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As always, your comments are welcomed.


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