Alumni of the week

HEXED BY TEXT

Christine Calvert


Text doctor

Executive Master of Management 2016

“I think a lot of people strive to become better people.”

Christine Calvert reveres the written word and makes her living healing ailing texts.

‒ I believe organisations can save an incredible amount of time by improving their internal communication, she says.

Calvert, who calls herself Norway’s only text doctor, knows what she is talking about. In addition to being a lecturer in digital communication at the Kristiania University College, she also offers talks and seminars to businesses looking to master the art of effective communication.

‒ I am talking about more than just e-mails, but also meetings and presentations. Many people could benefit from streamlining their thinking a bit more. If I write an e-mail that 500 people are going to receive, but with half of them having to decipher it or call me in order to understand my intentions, an astonishing amount of time is wasted.

The text doctor regards self-centred communication as poison. The antidote is to broaden one’s horizons.

‒ A number of people seem more preoccupied with getting their own message across, instead of focusing on what they can offer me as a customer. It is all about changing your perspective.


Need for freedom

When working with businesses, she often provides tailored courses where she delves into and analyses everything from the company’s internal communication to their webpages. Sometimes she shares ideas and brainstorms with seasoned communication professionals, but she might as well be found aiding those suffering from writer’s block.

‒ Usually it is people who are uncomfortable with the idea of writing and have not really written a great deal in the past, but perhaps have been urged to do more of it. But everyone, myself included, can improve their writing!

As a speaker, she is one of the most popular Norwegians in her field. Calvert’s secret, according to herself, is how she combines humour, a pedagogical approach and a genuine commitment to the subject.

‒ You have to love your audience and the subject you are talking about, as well as appreciating the ones who actually bothered showing up to listen to you.

When she decided to become self-employed, the reasoning behind her choice was mainly that she wanted to work more with the things she liked, and less with the things she did not like as much.  

‒ In some jobs there is a lot of admin. I am happy to do it, but my strength lies in offering courses or standing in a classroom, because those are the fun things. I have a very strong need for freedom.


What the doctor orders

Calvert has always been interested in leadership, but says she became more confident in her role as the «leader» of the classroom after she completed her Executive Master of Management at BI. She highlights the networking and knowledge, as well as personal development, as the biggest benefits she gained from her studies. Also, it did not hurt that she received an automatic pay rise as a lecturer after receiving her master’s degree.

‒ I think a lot of people strive to become better people. What I learned, is to give myself the tools so that I at least can try to become a better version of myself.

The experience has also made her more aware of what constitutes good leadership.

‒ You have to provide people with freedom and autonomy. Most people wish to perform their jobs well, so let them work in peace. A good leader is able to quickly identify what co-workers need and then leave them to do their tasks without micromanaging and controlling.

What the doctor orders for any «patients» out there, is to write without hesitation.

‒ At first, write a lot, write badly, fix it, think of who the receiver is and what it is that you want to accomplish. Finally, you can finish by tinkering with the language and sorting out the grammar. Really, the most important thing is that you are actually writing something!