This week embattled then-Labor Secretary Alex Acosta gave a press conference.
Immediately lawyers stepped in to denounce all of the legal errors in the monolithic and monotone press conference. I don’t know about his claims from a legal standpoint. I do know that one thing I heard him say did not sit right with me. From a communication perspective if one thing does not ring true, the whole story is tainted or at the very least questionable.
One question he attempted to answer was why as a U. S. Attorney he met with a defense attorney for a pre-dawn breakfast meeting NOT AT HIS OFFICE. I liberally paraphrase his answer, that it was not unusual – it would not have been right to ask people at his office to open up for such an early morning meeting.
When I heard that, I thought HOW ODD. So you have a key to your building, you use a key, unlock a door, and voila, you have a meeting.
HOW ODD IS THAT?
I don’t like to have meetings in public places and my meetings are not nearly as confidential as the potential content of a U.S. Attorney and a defense attorney especially with federal law and under age children involved.
I think it is ODD to have that meeting in public space, not ODD to open a building early.
I once found out that a friend’s husband was having an affair because I overheard the husband from the booth next to me. Before I knew who I could hear speaking over the tall booth, I knew the person was having an affair. Imagine our surprise when we both stood up to leave at the same time and discovered who our booth neighbors were.
A U.S. Attorney wants to have a private conversation at Denny’s? How ODD.
Here’s the dilemma: if I can’t believe him about why a meeting was held “offsite”, I have a hard time believing him about other specifics of his story. That’s not ODD.
Communication counts. Words Matter. Whether you are a Labor Secretary, former Labor Secretary, a prince or a pauper, preparation in the communication of your message matters.