Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The use of engaging language

The interest in the use of engaging language - tone of voice, words, writing for the reader - has been getting more and more importance within the organisations in recent times. 

Businesses have started to realise that in order to reach their employees it is neither useful nor effective just to bombard them with a vast quantity of information all day long. 

The way the language is used by organisations to engage with their people matters and it is hard work to get it right: clear, effective and engaging employee communication is an important business issue. 

"The greatest problem with communication is the illusion it has been accomplished" (George Bernard Shaw)

Nowadays, an involving approach within the workplace has been having more attention than in the past when an autocratic approach was very frequently put in place. However, it is still not easy for everyone to understand the importance of the use of an engaging language rather than a controlling one. 

People like to feel good about themselves, they do not like to feel wrong as well as do not like to take orders. In some situations, the use of engaging words rather than controlling ones could make a big difference. 

For example, rather than say "Send it" it could be said "Please send it", rather than "You should" it could be said "It would help if you".

A few days ago a read a piece of article on The Creative Post that highlighted the importance of the use of the right words to engage with employees. It was described how Toyota were able to involve their people and get new ideas from them with the use of the right words for that situation: 'A few years back, Toyota asked employees for ideas on how they could become more productive. They received few suggestions. They reworded the question to: "How can you make your job easier?" They were inundated with ideas. Even tiny changes can lead to unpredictable, cataclysmic results.'  

"Tell me and I'll forget;
Show me and I'll remember;
Involve me and I'll understand" (Confucious)