Santa, the Communication Consultant
Iceland has 13 Santas. They live in the mountain with their half woman, half troll mother, Grýla, her third husband, Leppalúði, and the black Christmas cat. And each night from the 11th December one Santa at a time comes down from the mountain to the town and makes mischief.
One steals yoghurt (Skýrgamur), one slams doors (Hurðaskellir) and another peeps through windows (Gluggagægir).
The Santas also do something else. They turn into communication consultants.
Each evening Icelandic children put a shoe in their bedroom window and, thanks to a visiting Santa in the night, they either receive a treat or a potato.
A raw potato.
Their behavior the previous day influences what they’ll receive. So, if they’ve been good they get rewarded with a little gift and if they’ve been naughty they get a raw potato.
I think that’s a pretty genius way of giving direct feedback to someone’s behavior – and Icelandic parents love it as it helps keep their kids calmer during the exciting run up to Christmas.
Every day our behavior is shaped by communication in tiny ways we don’t think about, with a look, or a nod.
We communicate internationally through technology and send off emails and comment online.
We pore over presentations before delivering them to audiences and we spend weeks writing a report.
And at meetings we put in our two cents, make group decisions and if it’s a good meeting, have a laugh or two in the process.
What do you do to make sure that your communication is clear?
As 2016 closes, how would Santa rate your communication over the past year?
What would he leave in your shoe?