Language is one of the most important definers of any organizational culture. The language you choose, the language you don’t choose and the language you choose to replace are a reflection, and in some senses, a definition of your priorities. As the American writer Rita Mae Brown once observed, “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”
Your words are a statement to others, and more importantly, they are a statement to the internal culture – because deliberate choice of language underpins perspective. Your language choice not only reveals how your organization feels about a matter, it also signals how you might be expected to approach and resolve that matter in the future.
If your organization is struggling with cultural issues right now, a simple and telling way to gauge the real work atmosphere is to pay closer attention to the language that people use to describe their colleagues, other teams, your products and of course customers. What’s being said in meetings and in memos…and what do those words reveal about underlying attitudes?
This article was originally posted on BrandingStrategyInsider