With so many signs regulating our behaviors, they tend to lose their effectiveness. One way to stand out from the communication overload is to rethink the wording on your signs and utilize nontraditional verbiage to get your point across.

One organization did this with a sign to discourage employees from exploring unused space on the floor of the office building they were renting. Instead of “do not enter” they changed it to: “Your wandering curiosity and Dupaco’s leased space stops here. Please do not venture past this point.” How much nicer is that?

The next time you need to make a sign, take an extra few moments to craft a message that conveys your point in a memorable way. You can achieve the same intent but with a smile.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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