My brother-in-law told my sister: “Please, no more words in the house.”  He did not mean for her to cease speaking, rather to refrain from purchasing any more plaques.  You know the ones: with lists of words, infographics or just cute sayings — they seem to have proliferated stores across the land.

I wonder if they have become so prevalent because so much of our communication exchange is fleeting and done through virtual means.  We don’t have that greeting card to hang on the refrigerator or the letter from a friend to treasure, so do we turn instead to fabric or word as a way to give some longevity to our messages?  Or have graphic programs become so advanced that everyone thinks they are a designer?

My sister believes that this decade will be remembered by words.  Years from now when people are hosting a retro party, they’ll dust off the wooden plaques to use as decorations. I wonder what impressions they will draw from that!

Maybe you don’t need a complete ban on the popular icons, but think twice before you hang so many messages that the meaning of any of them are lost.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a thousand words don’t paint a memorable picture.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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