Circus performer or counsellor?

I subscribe to a number of blogs, news sites and email newsletters, and spend my free time when not working reading through as many of them as I can.

In one of these publications, they regularly have an article where someone in the PR/comms industry talks about their job, being asked a series of questions, including 'If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to?'. An all too common response to this question is 'Professional juggler or plate spinner'.


But would a relationship counsellor be a better job to compare PR and comms to? Yes you need to get stuff done, and organise yourself, hence the circus analogy. But the ability to listen, empathise and understand, and then work out an appropriate course of action while keeping people on board is more important.

Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, has said that the most important person in your life is always the person you are with at any given moment, and this nod to mindfulness is not unhelpful to those of us working in the communications business. Keep that in mind when meeting with people and you can more clearly focus on the outcomes you both need to achieve.

So if you're truly a good communicator, you'll also be a good listener, and therefore suited not just to a life in the circus, but also one next to a couch.