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The Power of Language in the Workforce

The Power of Language in the Workforce

Motivation Minute Blog


The Power of Language in Managing a Workforce Needs to Be Addressed

The difference between successful managers and unsuccessful ones is frequently verbal packaging - using the right words to convey a message over the wrong ones.  60 % of a manager's time is spent communicating orally on average, yet rarely are managers trained on the effective use of language.  Certain words attract (power words) and certain words repel.  The biggest "de-motivating" word a manager can utter is "but." "You're doing a great job, but...." Would that language inspire you?  I don't think so.

When directing or delegating to others, substitute the word "Let's" for "You."  Instead of  the phrase, "You need to have that report on my desk by tomorrow," utilize the less obtrusive "Let's make sure we get the report done by tomorrow, okay?"

     Here are some great rules of thumb:

  • Speak in every day language
  • No profanity or slang - at any time
  • Speak simply and clearly in short sentences
  • Use "inclusive" words (i.e. we, us, you, and sometimes "I" if relating personal experience)
  • Don't be vague or abstract
  • Never talk down to your listener
  • Use action-driven verbs
  • Practice your delivery

William James once wrote, "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."  Don't miss the opportunity due to faulty delivery.


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