And the Oscar goes to . . .

That most meaningful time of year is upon us! Yup, Hollywood awards season. Beyond the $250k loaner gemstones and celebrities fawning over other celebrities, there are lots of juicy communication stories to be had especially in the films on this year’s roster.

So, who’s seen The King’s Speech? In this little bit of Oscar bait we see a dapper royal struggling with the most primitive and universal communications tools – his own stutter-peppered voice. The magical internet tells me that about 1% of the American population struggles with stuttering or stammering, with the ratio of men to women afflicted being 4:1.  Research, both strictly scientific and anecdotal, suggests that stuttering can be an enormous barrier to feeling comfortable and happy in the workplace.

here are a few tips from the pros:

– don’t finish words or sentences for people who stutter
– patience and patience
– each person trips over different sounds or letters and tend to choose words to get around these trouble spots
– avoid the urge to tell people to relax, breathe, or slowdown
– trust that the stutterer is the person most familiar with their condition

If you’ve got any first hand experience with stuttering, drop a comment below. What can happen in the workplace to help stutterers feel at ease?


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