Quotation of the Week: Senator Mitchell McConnell

Americans are concerned about government spending, debt, jobs, and keeping the homeland safe. They expect us to focus on these core issues until we get them right. In the year ahead, there is much work to be done, and the task before us is clear. We need to get Americans back to work and remain focused on keeping America secure and putting our nation back on the road to prosperity. Republicans look forward to working with the president on these shared goals.–Senator Mitchell McConnell of Kentucky, Responding to President Obama’s SpeechIt’s important to read legislative statements effectively.  The party of the person who said this (Republican) is irrelevant.  It could have been said by an Independent or by a Democrat.The first question to be asked about any statement is to ask what you mean when you say. . . ?  Define the terms.  So, specifically what spending, what debt, what kind of jobs and what timeline are we talking about?  McConnell is in agreement that something should be done.  Nothing stated about why it should be done, how it should be done or or when it should be done (“until we get them right”).It’s important to recognize that none of the process issues (why or how) are explained.  The purpose of the statement seems to be to leave the impression that the Republicans want to work with the Democrats.  Currently, the polls show satisfaction with the Republican party at half the level of satisfaction with the Democratic party.  Satisfaction with the Democratic party runs below the fiftieth percentile.  I conclude that the opposition party has to say something positive about the President’s speech.    Actually, McConnell has done an excellent job of saying nothing, but he wants his readers to believe that he’s positive about the speech.  That leaves a lot of wiggle room.So my elementary analysis is obvious?  Hmmmmm.  I hardly ever hear anyone in business analyze statements from the obvious beginning point of definitions.  The assumption is that the listener understands.  That’s the most basic reason for misunderstanding.  The most basic step for avoiding breakdowns and misunderstandings is to ask one simple question:  “What do you mean when you say . . . ?”
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