How to Ensure Everyone's on the Same Page

Posted by martin.parnell |

I have just bought tickets for the Old Trout Puppet Workshop’s Presentation of “Jabberwocky”, on February 25th, in Calgary. 

The production is based on a poem from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1872).  It’s a nonsense poem about the quest to vanquish a creature called a Jabberwock and my wife can recite it off by heart. When she was teaching, she would often introduce the poem to her students as a prompt for some very creative art work. As the creatures are all fictitious, the students could let their imaginations run riot. 

The poem begins: 

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe. 

When you read the poem, images are formed in your mind as to what the people and creatures look like. You can even conjure up a picture of the “tulgey wood”, through which the Jabberwok appears, with “eyes of flame....” 

So often, in life we are required to interpret things to our own way of thinking, but as we know, what one person might imagine may not be as everyone else sees it. 


When we read a novel, people and places can appear differently, to different people.

Now, it’s not always essential that we always see things the same, as long as we get the gist of what is going on. But, sometimes it is extremely important to make sure that we are interpreting things the same way. 

In business, if you are giving a presentation, or even just sending a memo, it is vital that everyone concerned is getting the same message. The use of vocabulary needs to be appropriate to the subject matter, the details need to be clear and precise and any references need to be accurately reproduced. The use of too many “in-words” and acronyms can be confusing, especially if someone is new to the group and unaware as to what they stand for. 

In business, people have a lot on their minds, attention spans are short  so when giving a presentation, make it as brief as possible, without omitting important information. The same goes for anything you put in writing. Make sure it’s easy to read, the sentences are short and to the point. 

If all employees are getting the same message and understanding goals, expectations, information etc. it will mean things will go more smoothly as you work to the same end. 

Of course, there are times, in the workplace when it is appropriate to be creative and use our imagination to come up with new ideas, be a little unconventional or from a new perspective, but it’s important to know when those time are. 

For anyone who’d like to read the rest of Lewis’s poem, here it is:

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

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