I was with a number of EOS Implementers® last week and John McMahon shared a great lesson from one of his teams.
The leader of the team was challenged with the word accountability. He just didn’t like it and it wasn’t a word that worked for him when communicating with his team. It sounded like it had been used like a weapon in his prior years, so he wasn’t comfortable with it, though he understood and agreed with its purpose.
After discussing with his leadership team, he found a way to communicate exactly what he intended with a slight shift in language. Instead of using the word accountability, he used the phrase “count on me.”
According to John, it has transformed their communication, and works to instill the ownership within their conversations and actions.
Words matter. Don’t discount the meaning we give them.
When you can transform something from a red light to a green light through language, your world transforms as well.