Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.
The following is an extract from the Convention sparkenation in my book Remarkable Workplaces.
Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.
Convention is simply the agreed ways we make things happen and get things done.
My convention for you to adapt to best suit yourself is
Enlightened Language elevates conversations,
Conversations enrich relationships,
Relationships enable business.
Language is the fertile ground (starting place) for achieving your personal and business purpose and any outcome you desire. When language elevates conversations and conversations enrich relationships the work (transactions and interactions) is enhanced and results take care of themselves.
My objective is to make my language enlightened. I use the word enlightened as a reference to enlightened self-interest the philosophy in ethics that’s about ‘doing well by doing good’, or as Zig Ziglar so wonderfully put it “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Your language (intention, words, tone, timing, body language) must be exactly right for the right person/people at the right time for them. Your language package must be such that people are not left in any doubt that you are here for them.
Conversations are elevated when we use such language.
Language too is about eliminating words that do not serve other people.
In other parts of the Remarkable Workplaces book I explore conversations, presentations and communication, relationships and purpose in depth.
For now your work is to get your language enlightened.
3 recommended actions
1) Take a very careful note of language being used in your workplace (any place for that matter) that causes people to roll their eyes or visibly withdraw. Examples I’ve seen are bandwidth, engagement, empowerment, disruption, scale, pivot, leverage, synergy.
2) Eliminate slogans and sound bites from your business. We get annoyed when the media and politicians use them so why on earth would we make our people suffer?
3) Invest time and energy in bettering how you speak, your messaging, making eye contact, using tone variations and pausing.
Recommended deep work
Invest time in other cultures where different languages to your native tongue are used. Note observations about how the best communicators and conversationalists operate.
France, Germany and Italy and many parts of Asia have been favourites for me as an English speaking person.
Commit to reading more or listening or watching if reading is not your preference.
I was interested to note recently that more than a third of Seth Godin’s sales in his latest best seller ‘This Is Marketing’ have been audio books.
You have no excuse for not tapping into other people’s experience and wisdom through reading, listening or watching at least once a week.
Learn new words regularly and test and evaluate their value in your overall communication, conversations and presentations.
Do Your Work.