Mist & Fog

Published on Mar 21, 2023

We were sat in their comfortable London co-working space. The conversation had moved to the importance of clarity and its role in aligning the many stakeholders of the charity. Something the charity needed to focus on as a matter of urgency.

A saying I had recently heard from a friend came to mind. I offered it up. “What’s a mist in the pulpit, is a fog in the congregation”.

There was a moments pause.

“But I’m not religious”. There was another moment of delicious awkwardness.

I did not know how to respond now that my point had been derailed. I was sure that personal religious experiences did not alter the meaning of the phrase. It was clear to me: any areas of uncertainty we might hold as leaders translates to much larger confusion and uncertainty in those we lead.

But that was the principle in practice. By not taking into account the experiences and expectations of my audience I had introduced a fog, where I might have percieved only a slight mist.