I have a mini-me running around my house. Luckily she looks like her mother, but she sure does talk like me. I call her my mini-me because I have learned recently that whatever I say – she will say. For instance when I go to change her diaper and it is particularly stinky I might say something like “oh that is awful.” The next time I change her what does she say? “Oh that is awful dada.”
The language I use around my house is really important, because language matters.
Language matters. There is a correlation between the language that you use and the connections that you have. (Click to tweet) Language is the tool that we use to connect at a heart level. Therefore the words we use have the ability to create stronger bonds or greater divides.
Think about some of the language you use in your leadership role – do your words tend to draw people together with a sense of community or create lines of division?
There are many ways to be intentional with our language; I want to suggest one that is important to me.
I was recently writing some thank you cards to a number of volunteers and there is a phrase that I almost always use when writing thank you notes. When talking about the work we do for the Kingdom I tell people that, “I am grateful to serve alongside you.”
Please do not miss the intentionality in those words. “I am grateful to serve alongside you.” Why does that matter? Because we live in a world where people with power and influence have the ability to lord their position over those they lead.
I want volunteers to know that we are serving “shoulder-to-shoulder.” Yes there are org charts and chains of command, but one of the best things I can communicate to a volunteer is, “I am in this with you!”