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How to Speak Human by Jennifer Jackson, Dougal Jackson

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An illustration shows a woman holding a banner by expanding her arms which reads text as ‘hello’ and another woman is standing behind her.

Hoisting the banner for human

What a glorious age to be alive, mates.

Rapidly disappearing in the rear-view mirror are stiff, impersonal workplaces painted various shades of beige. Here and ahead lies a profound shift towards human, a fast-approaching future where people are celebrated. Not just customers or shareholders either, but the vast majority of folk inside our organisations — the people who keep things moving.

Sure, the rise of the Silicon Valley start-up scene brought office slippery slides, pinball machines and other wonders. But we’re not talking about ball pits or other gimmickry. Peel back the layers and peer behind the superficial veneers; there’s something far more real.

It’s a restlessness, a discontent with old ways and outdated methods. After decades spent stripping all the human out of business, there’s a movement towards putting it all back in.

Do we really need a book called How to Speak Human to help us, though?

Sure, it’s a cute title — intended to twist mouths into wry smiles. But we can’t be for real, can we? After all, we’re all humans. And speaking is just a matter of opening our mouths and letting the words fall out. As natural as nudity in nature …

Yet somehow it isn’t.

Somewhere along the way, amidst the busyness, the business, the technology and the professionalism, it became harder to connect with the people around us. Harder to speak human, ...

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