Free Live Event

Work with me



Cutting through the noise

It’s not about being the loudest voice in your space; it’s about being the voice that cuts through the noise.

Surprisingly often that’s the calm voice.

Unsurprisingly often it’s the clear, authentic, and unapologetically real voice.

Is life logical?

Maybe not, as Arno Geiger points out:

“The inclination towards logic in literature is nothing but a prejudice against life. In the many collections of letters and diaries, I have never come across a logical person, let alone a logical life story, neither in my everyday life nor in any of the major collections.”

Arno Geiger is a well-known Austrian writer who, for decades, has collected collections of letters and diaries from trash. The above is one of the core findings he shares in his memoirs about the lessons he learned during that time.

And it might explain the struggles we often have with making sense of other people’s actions (or our own): There might be less logic in our actions than we feel comfortable admitting.

Which, in turn, causes communication challenges when we try to find the sense in things that don’t always make as much sense.

What’s easily overlooked is that logic is only one aspect of human life. Often, it’s not the deciding factor for the choices we make, at least not the only one. Which means that focusing solely on logic in your communication misses out on a big part of many people’s lives: the emotional, intuitive, and sometimes irrational aspects that are equally vital in understanding human behavior and decision-making.

Busy being right

When you’re busy being right, consider that, in the meantime, others may already be getting it right.

PS: Happy to help if you’re trying to get your communication right.

The Bermuda Triangle Project

Recently at Confused Corp, the world market leaders for unclear instructions and perplexed employees …

The CEO, known as the “Master of Monologues”, announces: “We have perfected the art of communication! Our directives are so clear that no one dares to question them!”

An intern, from the back: “That’s because the last guy who asked a question ended up in the Bermuda Triangle project.”

Lasting impressions

Yesterday, I spoke about managed dissatisfaction. In communication it means meeting the basic threshold of adequacy without investing in the effort to truly connect, enlighten, or engage with the audience. It’s a calculated approach to do just enough, but not more.

That’s a choice, for example:

You can choose to provide just enough information to avoid misunderstandings. Or you can make an effort to ensure the information is easily digestible and engaging.

You can choose to respond to questions or concerns when raised. Or you can proactively clarify potential ambiguities and offer additional insights.

You can choose to slightly adjust the content based on the audience (like, say, changing the date in your slide template) but otherwise keep it generic. Or you can make it specific for this particular audience’s needs.

You can choose to engage with the audience just enough so that they don’t feel ignored. Or you can actively try to make the interaction enjoyable and memorable.

It’s the choice between doing the bare minimum to avoid complaints and going the extra mile to leave a lasting impression.

How do you choose?

The world champions of managed dissatisfaction

During our latest family vacation we stayed at what must be the world champions of managed dissatisfaction.

The resort managed to do slightly less than you’d expect at every single interaction and they made sure to never even accidentally exceed our expectations.

To be sure, it wasn’t a bad experience per se … which, to me, is the fascinating aspect here and what makes managed dissatisfaction an art. The art is in finding the sweet spot where your service is well below the threshold for embarrassment at all times, yet only the slightest bit above the threshold of dissatisfaction.

Of course, that’s not the same thing as a great experience – or even a satisfactory one. It’s no substitute for the smile they could have put on their customers’ faces for exceeding their expectations just once.

And that’s a choice. That idea of consistently delivering just enough to avoid outright dissatisfaction, but never quite enough to truly impress, is a deliberate strategy. The goal is to maintain a steady stream of “just okay” service without investing in the extra effort or resources that could lead to exceptional experiences.

We might not come back, though.

Delighting customers, even just occasionally, can have a significant positive impact on their perception of the service and can foster loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

The next chapter

When leadership announces the script for the new year, you can often feel their excitement. The CEO bursts with pride and it’s fair to assume that they truly believe in that new script.

And justifiably so as it might really be a great script. You’d be thrilled, too.

But for the team, it can feel very different. They are still heavily consumed with wrapping up the conclusion of the current script and before they get proper appreciation for making it a hit, they are now expected to cheer leadership for writing the next hit.

Especially when it’s a reset or an entirely new script, this can feel incredibly frustrating for the team, creating a sense of instability and disregard for past efforts. When things are constantly shifting, it can disrupt the momentum and erode the sense of purpose and continuity, leaving team members feeling disconnected and undervalued.

But what if you viewed your journey not as a series of annual resets but as chapters in an ongoing story, building upon each year’s triumphs and trials?

That, in my experience, is a much more satisfying story for the team – and quite likely a more respectful one, too. This approach transforms the collective effort into a shared legacy, where each new year adds depth and meaning to our unfolding story.

The goal is to evolve together, blending past achievements with future aspirations, making every member feel like an integral part of this continuous narrative.

In your business, will the new year unfold as a standalone blockbuster, or as the latest episode in a hit series?

If you care

Here’s the deal:

You deeply care about the things you do, I deeply care about the things I do.

You’ve built something extraordinary, I’ll guide you in turning it into an extraordinary story.

You’ve got an important story to tell, I help you find the right words to tell it.

Reach out if that sounds fair!

The Pinnacle of Clarity

Recently at Confused Corp, the world market leaders for unclear instructions and perplexed employees.

The CEO announces: “Our email communication is the pinnacle of clarity!”

Employees glance at their screens, where emails looped in endless chains of cryptic jargon, and wonder if clarity is just another word they are using wrong.

The CEO beams: “No one asks for clarification anymore—it’s a triumph!”

In the back, an employee whispers: “We stopped asking because the ‘clarifications’ only make it worse.”

Echoes of Silence

In the dim glow of his office, Patrick stared at the latest report. The numbers were as lifeless as the cold, blue light that cast long shadows across his desk. His team had followed his lead, executed every command with precision—a symphony of perfect movements, yet the music had failed to enchant the markets they aimed to captivate.

He remembered the meetings, his voice clear and confident, the nods around the table, the scribbles of agreement in every notepad. They had seemed like a well-oiled machine, gears aligned, oiled by his words. But machines don’t dream, and numbers, it seemed, didn’t bow to well-crafted speeches.

The office was silent now, but for Patrick, it was a cacophony of ‘what-ifs.’ He could almost hear the ideas that he had not heard back then, the suggestions he had not sought, the potential he had not fostered. He had built a fortress of strategy around them, but in doing so, he had unwittingly erected walls that kept out innovation.

His team’s eyes, once bright with the sheen of shared purpose, now mirrored his own disillusionment. They had trusted him, and he had been so sure of the path that he had dismissed the value of their compasses. Now, they were all lost together in the success that never came.

The chair groaned as he leaned back, the sound a stark reminder of the silence that comes with unmet expectations. The weight of unrealized potential pressed down on him, a tangible force in the quiet of the office. He had been a maestro of communication, but one of monologue, not of dialogue. His team had not been collaborators in their destiny; they had been passengers, and he had driven them into a cul-de-sac of failure.

Patrick’s gaze fell upon a single, forgotten suggestion box in the corner, its slot unburdened by the touch of ideas. It was an artifact of his ‘open-door’ policy, a relic of good intentions that now seemed as hollow as the victory they chased.

Tomorrow, he would need to face them all—the team whose belief he had won, but not their insight. He would need to find the words, not to direct but to invite. The journey ahead would be different. It had to be. Because the pain of a lesson learned too late was a companion he could no longer bear.

Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz



Yes, I love talking to you. Call me at +49.2241.8997777
Or reach out at michael@michaelgerharz.com