Influence people

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Word Limit

I enjoy consultant Alan Weiss' monthly e-newsletter Balancing Act.

Weiss is the Andy Rooney of the corporate boardroom.

In the current edition, he bemoans our poor command of language.

"I’ve always believed that language controls discussion, discussion controls relationships, and relationships control business," Weiss writes.

Ain't it the truth.

"As I listen to interviewees on talk shows, protestors on the streets, politicians on the stump, and athletes on a celebratory high, I’m aghast at how poorly they reflect their conditions and circumstances," Weiss writes. "Many are functionally inarticulate. It seems like those with the least ability to express themselves miraculously and insidiously wind up with the opportunity to face the largest audiences."

It's ironic that business professionals (salespeople, in particular) spend most of their time every day talking.

But how much time do they devote to sprucing up their verbal "tool bags?"

"How many new tools are you acquiring?" Weiss asks.  "Or do you still have the same old, tattered bag you had ten years ago?"

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."

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