Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TIP: Build Stronger Relationships - A Tip About 'Language'

Our optional theme at ‘Rise Then Shine’ on 5th of May is ‘building stronger
relationships’, whether that be in a corporate environment or a personal relationship.

Here’s a starter for ten which is all about 'language'.

The language you use with others is phenomenally powerful, particularly the choice of words you use. Let’s take generalisations. Here’s one:

A: “Your work is extremely slap dash.”

Now, if your manager were to say this to you the first thing to consider is – is she right? If you don’t believe she is, then this statement could be hurtful.

When managing others, whether at home or at work, it is important to be specific in the language you use. Here’s an example of how the statement above could be improved:

B: “The point you’re making, using the statistics in the first paragraph, is unclear.”

See the difference?

In ‘A’ the manager is making a sweeping generalisation about ‘your work’. It implies all of your work is ‘extremely slapdash’. In ‘B’ the manager takes much greater responsibility for her choice of language and uses specifics to explain her point. It also becomes obvious in ‘B’ what can be done to rectify the situation.


Think about a time when you felt someone’s statement was unfair. It might have been the case that they made a sweeping generalisation as in ‘A’.

Be aware of the language you use and make your exact point absolutely clear to avoid confusion and build trust in your relationships.

RW x

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