By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Here’s a quick quiz. Provide a definition for these two phrases:
1. Intentional parenting
2. Listening sessions
Are you done? Can you provide answers? Are you able to effectively, at least to yourself, determine just what the heck these two phrases mean?
Before planning and researching this post, I never heard of either. But, they are now part of our lexicon, I suppose.
The first phrase above was included in a business article that focused on career-building skills that can be absorbed from the practices of one’s parents — working hard, being responsible, demonstrating discipline, being trustworthy. This makes total sense to me. But what’s an “intentional” parent?
I didn’t know, so I googled the phrase and found this site that offered some direction. All I had to do to learn more was purchase some books, an intentional act of commerce. This also raised the question, can someone be an “unintentional parent?” I’m of the mindset that if you have children, you’re a parent.
And, on to the second phrase, presented to me by a friend who found it within an email seeking participants for a future “listening session.” My first thought: Listen to whom regarding what?
Yes, reliable Google gave me a 173,000 potential answers from many, many sources, including prestigious universities and leading professional associations. In fact, I found an online article that shared multiple ways to host a listening session. The other question that surfaced to me: Isn’t a “listening session” similar to a “meeting” or a “discussion?”
Had enough of my attempt at sarcasm?
Here’s my point. Why can’t the phrases, words and ideas that have been used for decades or even centuries continue to work today? Why do we need new phrases or interpretations of the language? Besides, who’s in charge of “curating” this stuff, to coin a now-commonly-cited word?
As a public relations professional, I try to communicate effectively using language the reader can comprehend. To succeed, I steadfastly avoid jargon and refuse to employ flavor-of-the-month phrases.
If you concur, listen intentionally, then share your thoughts.