Consider Your Words

Bill Treasurer Posted by Bill Treasurer, Chief Encouragement Officer, Giant Leap Consulting, Inc..

Bill Treasurer is founder and Chief Encourager at Giant Leap Consulting (GLC), a Courage Building company that helps people and organizations live more courageously. Bill is the author of numerous books on leadership and courage.

Consider Your Words

Sometimes just making small language shifts can have a huge impact on how people define themselves and their roles.

The owner of a $5 billion construction company wanted his division heads to do less managing and more leading. For decades, the division heads had been called business group managers.

Was it really any wonder then that their focus was on managing their divisions? But the owner now needed them to focus less on internal operational issues (management) and more on external opportunities, such as developing business with clients (leadership). So he did something simple but important. He changed their job titles and, by definition, the expectation and focus of their jobs. Now the division heads are called business group leaders.

There are many simple ways that a shift in language can lead to a shift in thought. For example, do you refer to those you lead as your “employees” or your “team?” Are you the “boss” or the “leader?” Are you conducting a “performance review” or a “check-in?”

Shifting from a negative framing to a positive one is another easy way to shift thinking. For example, after hearing a good idea from an employee, a lot of leaders respond “not bad!” instead of “pretty good!”

Choose your language deliberately and you will be amazed by how quickly it will shift your thinking and the thinking of those around you.

How will you choose to change your language so that it positively impacts your team?

Please contact Giant Leap at [email protected] to learn about our leadership workshops, including our team interventions and assessments.

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