Life Scribbles: Speak Human Please
During a leadership meeting last year at Mosaic, I heard Erwin McManus share about the inability of many faith leaders to “speak human.” He was referencing the lack of ability in many faith leaders to speak in a way that could be understood by those outside of their particular faith context.
I think there is a principle here that is true of any profession or group/tribe. Whether you’re leading an organization, business, or movement, it’s vitally important to develop the ability to communicate well with those who may not be familiar with your vernacular or glossary.
Although I am not saying you have to change all of the language used in your context, I do believe that you should develop layers of communication that respectfully considers those who may be unfamiliar with your “talk”.
Ask yourself some of these questions:
- Would someone outside of our organization or business really understand our language and mission?
- Do you spend intentional time developing and choosing words that build bridges and creates access to those on the “outside”?
- Why do you use the words you do and who is it intended for? Think layers and context.
I completely recognize that language by nature is complex and often subjective. Nevertheless, this is a reminder to all of us that what we intend to say is often not what others hear. Communication takes intentional work to develop. Take time to develop the way your company or organization communicates. It may mean the difference between developing networks and hostile critiques.
Life Scribbles is a blog category I created to jott down quick notes about various topics and personal interests. These notes (including questions) are meant to be short, thought-provoking, relatively open, and purposefully unresolved. I’m hoping that these Life Scribbles will challenge or refine perspectives, create meaningful conversations, and lead to further inquiry about the topics presented.