I had lunch with a friend today who told me about a book called Why Business People Speak Like Idiots. It’s been around awhile, but it was a new title to me. The key aim of the book is to help people speak more clearly and persuasively. That makes sense, based on the title, right?
But there’s a much deeper implication here than just learning not to speak like an idiot. It’s about tapping into people’s desire to make a difference at work. According to my friend, the part of the book she enjoyed was the premise that people have interesting, unique “weekend selves.” Then on Monday when they come to work, they trade their individuality for a glob of corporate speak and a dress code. No wonder people hate Mondays at work.
But what if, as a leader, you could use language to help pivot people out of the doldrums?
People want to make a difference. They don’t want to be corporate drones. The authors, who use a bullfighter metaphor claim that leaders can seize this opportunity and “be the voice that people are looking for.” On their website they say,
“All those human beings who go to work Monday morning want something better. They don’t want disclaimers, non-promises, sugar-coated news or canned speeches. They want someone to capture their imagination, stir their enthusiasm and tell them the truth.”
Tell them the truth? What a shocker!
As a leader, what are you doing to tell it like it is, cut the bull and get people engaged in your vision?