As a leader, your vocabulary will quickly become sticky. Often, you don’t even realize you are leading with your language. However, our words become the words of those we lead. Here in the CentriKid office, we have picked up quite a bit of vocabulary from one another!
How does this happen?
You’ve heard it said that the people you lead will find important the things you find important. The same goes for vocabulary. These people will use the words you use, even when you don’t necessarily make an effort to use particular words. Try it out. Listen to the talk of those you lead, and see how many words came from your own vocabulary.
What are the benefits?
People you lead will soon begin talking the things you find important. It’s incredibly rewarding to look around and hear your vision being cast by others and hear individuals picking up on your organization’s values. Keep speaking the language you want others to hear, know, and speak themselves.
What are the drawbacks?
Watch what you say. Sticky vocabulary can be not only positive, but negative as well. Listen to yourself as you criticize, tell inside jokes, put others down, or use inappropriate humor. Each word you say is heard by someone, and that someone might just pick up their leader’s vocabulary.
Keep your mission and values in front of you. Remind yourself what you want to say often, and then start saying those things. Listen to your followers. When you hear vocabulary you don’t like or you don’t believe matches up with the vision, change it. Call it out. Start encouraging a different kind of vocabulary. Remember that sticky doesn’t just go away either, it’s here to stay!