A Logophile Battles Buzzwords

Let’s start here: buzzwords aren’t the same as jargon, though jargon can become a buzzword. I wrote more about that here. Oh, wait. You’re probably wondering what a “logophile” is. A logophile is a lover of words and their meanings, and that is most definitely me. Which is why buzzwords bother me. A lot. Buzzwords. There are certain words that …

Do you trust YOU?

Something interesting came up in conversation with a friend last week. We were talking about communication, and the ways in which that word – “communication” – doesn’t mean enough. I’ll go into more on that in a future article, but for now, what I want to tell you about is something she said that kinda blew my mind. To truly listen, …

Be careful what you say!

Change and Communication. Everyone – including me! – tells you to communicate about change. Tell people the why, what, and how. Multiple times. Listen to what they have to say – they’ll have valuable input. And they’ll help you understand how the change is affecting them, so you’ll know how to respond. Communicate! And it’s all true. But there’s one thing people …

Is change hard? Or …?

There’s a common belief that change is hard. I disagree. I think mostly change is uncomfortable. The human brain loves routine, habit, consistency, familiarity. Shifting away from that – creating change – means the brain has to work harder… and fundamentally, the brain prefers to be lazy. It’s a neurobiological energy-conservation thing, as I wrote about here. Leaders of change in …

What does “communication” actually mean?

Everyone agrees that leaders need to communicate. But what does that actually mean? Most people learn to talk and express what they want and what they’re thinking as young children. They learn in school to answer questions, and to write essays and papers. And then we get into the workplace and we believe communication will “just happen.” But does it, really? …

An under-appreciated leadership skill

Learn to write. I’m not suggesting you need to be the next Pulitzer Prize winner or that you should write a Great American Novel. I am stating that the better you are at writing, whether it’s an email, a PowerPoint deck, a Slack message, or even a text, the more successful you’ll be. Don’t agree? Just think of the endless …

Unpacking performance problems

Unpacking performance problems can be a challenge for managers. And it’s important to do, because many – most? – all? – performance issues are combinations of multiple employee behaviors and multiple manager frustrations. I had a conversation with a client this morning about a problem he wanted to address. In deconstructing what initially appeared straightforward (an accumulation of handwritten “to-do” …

Hey! Watch your language!

Words. Language. Meaning. Communication. Many years ago, I did a video (no longer available) in which I stated that “words are all we have.” Whoa, did I ever get pushback on that. And reasonably so; we certainly do communicate in many other ways than just words. Nonetheless, especially in this era of text messages, Slack messages, emails, social media posts, …

My time as an interpreter

No, I was never an interpreter of other countries’ languages. But I’ve done a lot of interpretation and translation of what might appear to be native English – but often isn’t easily understood. In my software-development days, it was technology-to-business-speak and back again. Interpreting what the business community said and translating it into something the business analysts and software engineers could understand …

Do you compliment?

People whose efforts are rewarded are more engaged and do better work. Unsurprisingly, they’re happier, too, at work and at home. So here’s the question for leaders and managers: do you compliment? Do you acknowledge? Do you recognize? Compliments are, as Christopher Littlefield points out, “conflict prevention.” Littlefield knows whereof he speaks: he’s a conflict resolution expert, author, and founder …