Last week, I received a letter from my local government about taxes. The letter explained that the total tax bill was based on the fact that our household contained four waste units. Naturally, I found the designation waste units to describe my lovely family somewhat disturbing.
Language has enormous power: The language you use, paints a specific picture in the mind of the receiver. This picture can either be uplifting and inspiring, or degrading and dispiriting. Language is never neutral.
It’s therefore important to become aware of the language which is used in your organization. Some years ago, Goldman Sachs landed in hot water when it became clear that several senior executives were using the derogatory term muppets to internally describe unsophisticated clients: The effect on its culture was toxic and destructive.
If you want to raise the spirit of your organization, which standards around your own language do you need to raise yourself?
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/Photology1971