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If you are concerned about doing the right thing for your business and your staff then it really helps to have someone who knows what that is. more »
Jane Notten
Rothko
HR News

Language Matters

Due to the naure of our business we have had the priviledge of sitting in on many strategic meetings, performance discussions, training sessions, conflict mediation sessions and retrenchmant consultations.

One of our biggest learnings is that the the success or failure of such meetings is hugely dependent on the language that is used. This may appear obvious but in practice it can be a challenge!

  • I often wonder how much time goes into thinking about the impact of our words. Do we seek advice, sleep on it, research and understand the situation to its full extent?
  • Are our words destuctive or constuctive and bring about a positive change?
  • Are we honest and direct in our approach or do we tend to candy coat the situation because we are  afraid of the consequences? What is the outcome in the long run anyway?
  • Do we consider the desired outcome or do we act on emotional impulses and create a whirl wind?
  • Do we create an environment of fear through our words and stifle growth and creativity or encourage the voice of employees to flow with constuctive confidence?
  • Are our words about ourselves and personal gain or are we outward focused considering the other side?

In closing I would like to share the language used by Bill Hybels, author of Powerful Leadership Proverbs during performance feedback sessions:

“For instance, if a serious problem exists with an underperforming staff member - especially if that person has been confronted by others before my meeting with them - I might look at them and say, “This is your 911 call. What we’re dealing with here carries with it the top level of urgency and importance. If this behaviour does not change - immediately - you will be asked to leave our staff. This is what I want you to remember when you walk out of the room today. Nine-one-one…are we clear?” We usually are.”

No mincing of words, clear, concise and it calls for action!

About the Author:

Diana has a Human Resources degree and Associate in Management qualification through the Graduate School of Business (UCT). Diana has developed training courses and workshops using DISC methodology. Diana is radically passionate about many things…especially colour, fabrics, perfumes, cosmetics, gardening, health, spicy food, sushi, the East, shopping…and books, lots of books.

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