The Power of Words

Have you run your resume through a word cloud generator to see what you are saying most often to prospective employers? What about your personal or corporate blog? 
Wordle: MoreThanALiving

What we say – especially in today’s hyper-connected world – can say much more than we meant it to. Or not enough of the important stuff. When I ran our own MTAL through Wordle, I was a little bit surprised at what came back. I had expected big words like “PASSION,” or “CAREER,” or “ACCOUNTABILITY.”

I (naively) didn’t expect to see WORK, CLIENT, KNOW, or SOMETHING (really? do we use “something” so often? no idea).

And this got me to thinking about the communication dilemma: we might say and mean something, and in a specific context, and with the right mood lighting, and with a listener’s head cocked at just the right angle, they are understanding us. We’re transmitting 5-by-5. They’re picking up what we’re putting down…. you get the picture, I hope.

The thing is, folks don’t always hear what we think we’re saying. They hear what they think we should be saying. This means that if we’re intent on getting our point across, we need to be clear with our message, and retell our story in several different ways at different times to increase the likelihood that our message is being received.

For the MTAL word cloud, it seems that so many of the ideas, the core concepts we thought we were ranting about (and tagging with) didn’t show up. Because they were flagged as categories in a tool, and not printed in big bold letters.

Maybe we should be saying more things explicitly like

  • You are not an employee. You are Talent.
  • Only you can define and shape your personal brand. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently.
  • Accountability = Trust = Speed of Execution & Delegation = Success.
  • Autonomy = Accountability.
  • Autonomy = Ownership = Accomplishment = Satisfaction.
  • If you aren’t getting better every day, becoming increasingly agile, increasingly proficient working in a high concept, high touch world, you’re just getting older.
  • Get engaged in your work, and bring your whole self to the show. Everyday.
  • Mediocrity will suffocate quiet diligence and the gentle flicker of hope every day of the week.
  • Passion realized > Paycheck.

We’ll see what we can do to make sure we are talking straight. When we stray, tell us. And if we’re being obtuse, skip our rants and head to the postulates.

This entry was posted in Accountability, Agility, Autonomy, Branding, Communication, Diagrams, Passion, Talent. Bookmark the permalink.

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