I forget when they teach you that you should firmly know your audience before you begin to write. I know that my audience is mostly engineers with not many theologians (although some soccer fans thrown in for good measure!). But I’ve been studying again a 13th Century English mystic who didn’t record his name on his works, but the essay title is “The Cloud of Unknowing.” He went so far as to define his audience at the beginnin of the essay. I wonder if anyone read this and quit reading:

“I do not mind if all the loud-mouthed, or flatterers, or the mock-modest, or fault-finders, gossips, tittle-tattlers, tale bearers, or any sort of grumbler, never see this book. I have never meant to write for them. So they can keep out of it.”

So there. Take that. Actually, sometimes I feel that way–not so much about you, but when I read blogs and comments on other blogs that come from people such as those. Think about those traits for a minute. Do you want to hire any people with these traits? Trust me, I did once in my career to my detriment hire someone with many of those traits. The results were not pretty. Twenty years later I still picture that guy once in a while–and shudder. Oh, and I hired him to be my lead sales person. Do you want to be sold to by someone like that?

Share This