Language at Work
1.5K views | +0 today
Follow
Language at Work
Professional and Business communication, Workplace and Business Discourse
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Why I loved working with Steve Jobs even though he fired me 5 times and treated me terribly

Why I loved working with Steve Jobs even though he fired me 5 times and treated me terribly | Language at Work | Scoop.it
Steve got angry with everybody that worked with him. He was very impatient. He had a vision of what it was that you were supposed to be accomplishing and if you didn't do it fast enough or you didn't to it right enough, he definitely got angry. He threw things at people, nothing heavy but he threw wads of paper at people, swore at people, criticised their clothing....
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
What a revolting example of the power of discourse. This person describes  what any sane person would see as a tyrant. Throwing things at people? Belittling them? Not paying? Come on. This is not leadership. This is dictatorship, even if you are the mighty Steve Jobs. 
As you listen to this video, note how the speaker talks about Jobs' actions in a defensive tone. Apparently, having a 'vision' excuses you from decent human behaviour, and even from settling your bill! But it's all right as long as the stuff you throw is light and you can be blackmailed into paying.
Apparently, behaving like a tyrant will make others push harder. No, it won't. It will make people fear you and leave you. 
No scale of vision is an excuse for tyranny. This should be condemned in the mass media, not glorified. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

How to be boss in instant-messaging - Blog | Deloitte Australia

How to be boss in instant-messaging - Blog | Deloitte Australia | Language at Work | Scoop.it
So, what does a typo, or bad grammar really mean? And should you ever LOL?
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
Great to see my research picked up on a professional blog! 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

The Elements of Bureaucratic Style

The Elements of Bureaucratic Style | Language at Work | Scoop.it
The bureaucratic voice presents governments and corporations as placid, apologetic, and unmovable. It also makes their victims as active as possible.
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
Really great piece on how easy it is to portray different versions of reality by strategically using language. The author here talks a lot about social actors - an analytical framework we advocate to be used in  business and professional communication education, too! (article hopefully coming soon in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly)
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Native English speakers are the world’s worst communicators

Native English speakers are the world’s worst communicators | Language at Work | Scoop.it
In a room full of non-native speakers, ‘there isn’t any chance of understanding’. It might be their language, but the message is often lost
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

“Mere” speech has powerful consequences

“Mere” speech has powerful consequences | Language at Work | Scoop.it

POLITICIANS like to promise action, not words. But this is odd: when was the last time a political leader did anything important with a physical action? Monarchs no longer lead armies into battle on horseback. Modern politicians stay safely at home. They give speeches, which they hope will make people vote for them. Once elected, their job is to give yet more speeches, have private meetings, engage in debates and maybe write the occasional opinion article. In other words, a lot of words. It is fair to say that pretty much the entire job of a politician, unlike that of a woodworker or surgeon, is to talk, not to perform what might traditionally be called “action”. But this does not mean that politicians do nothing. There is a particular kind of speech that philosophers and linguists call “speech acts”, described by J.L. Austin in his book “How to Do Things with Words”, published in 1962.

Austin distinguished “locution”, the act of speaking itself, from “illocution”: the thing done in the world by that act. A classic distinction is a request phrased in the form of a question: “Can you shut the window?” It seems to be about the listener’s ability to shut the window, but the illocutionary act tells the listener to shut the window. Speech acts come stronger than that, too. People can commit themselves to a proposition, or promise a future action: “I promise I didn’t steal it” commits the speaker to being branded a liar if something else turns out to be the case. And “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” commits the speaker in court to accepting charges for perjury for doing otherwise. Some people are authorised to change the state of the world itself through speech. A minister can marry two people with the words, “I now pronounce you man and wife.” A judge can say, “I sentence you to three years in prison.” A traditional test is that if you can insert “hereby” into a sentence, you are performing a kind of direct-effect speech act.

But one group of people can perform an especially powerful kind of speech act. Heads of government do so when they speak about the policies of their countries. Since they set those policies, everything out of their mouths can be taken as something between the promise of an ordinary person, and a speech act with direct effect. These are taken by listeners as “I hereby commit my country to the following course of action.”

Lingua Digitalis's insight:
The dangerous communication style of this person has been analysed over and over - but pragmatics offers an insight that can help us understand the real danger his words carry. 

Just how aware is how of this power - is yet to be seen. As a speechwriter colleague of mine rightly said  "the President of the United States has either no need for speechwriters, or will be utterly dependent on them".  Not sure which one is more dangerous.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

What meetings might say about workplace culture

What meetings might say about workplace culture | Language at Work | Scoop.it
"Speaking one’s mind may sound easy enough, but it requires that one is not afraid - i.e. no repercussions - and that one sees the benefit of speaking freely. For that to work consistently, it requires a culture of trust, where saying what you think is encouraged, where people give and seek real and yet candid feedback, and then act on that feedback."
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
Love them or hate them: meetings are here to stay.  How to make them worthwhile.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Corporate Recruiters Rank Communication as the Most Highly Valued Business Skill

Corporate Recruiters Rank Communication as the Most Highly Valued Business Skill | Language at Work | Scoop.it
Employers said they strongly valued recent graduates who were “highly proficient” in communication skills, specifically oral communication, followed by listening and writing skills. On average, employers ranked communication skills twice as important as managerial skills for new hires. With the exception of one industry – manufacturing – communication skills were top ranked across all world regions and employers, regardless of company size or industry.
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
I guess no one is surprised. The only question is now  - why isn't communication a compulsory subject for everyone?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Looking under the bonnet of annoying management speak

Looking under the bonnet of annoying management speak | Language at Work | Scoop.it
Going forward, perhaps we ought to cut office patois some slack – it greases the wheels of business, after all.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Science communication training should be about more than just how to transmit knowledge

Science communication training should be about more than just how to transmit knowledge | Language at Work | Scoop.it

For most scientists, outward-facing communication is not something they’ve typically thought about much… let alone sought to cultivate.

Lingua Digitalis's insight:
Communicating at and ABOUT your work is crucial for every profession. Pleased to see that the science community is now taking notice. Communication is much more than transmission of information. The authors of the article right say: it's about people, it's about forging relationships. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Grammar, a great equaliser – Dariusz Galasiński

As people protest against bothering kids with grammar, invariably in ‘perfect English’, I wish they remembered those who have not had the opportunity to learn their ‘perfect English’ at home.  For some of the kids whom we shall not teach grammar, will learn how to speak ‘proper English’ at home. Their well-educated parents will speak ‘properly’ (not ‘proper’). They will not use the singular number in ‘There are cars.’, they will understand the difference between ‘it’s’ and ‘its’.  And they will never be the joke of the staff at universities where they will be said to be ignorant or illiterate. Their emails will not be laughed at when they fail to tell the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’. They are all real examples.
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
This raises  crucial points about being judged by how we speak: if you understand it, you can turn your language into a strategic tool in professional life. And the story doesn't end there...  having a critical awareness of language  can help you realise the role and function of linguistic choices: how these create A version of reality, how they communicate A viewpoint, how they manipulate people, how the (re)create and maintain inequalities, and the list goes on.
I recently heard an accountant giving a plenary talk at a language and communication conference - yes, you hear it right, a linguistics conference. She talked about the "elephant" in the room, language. How everybody in the profession recognises how big a thing it is, and its crucial role in accountancy, yet nobody dares to take conscious notice. Her talk ended with a bang: she said, of all the subjects, linguistics should be compulsory for everybody in higher education! 
As someone who teaches non-linguists linguistics, who sees the difference it makes not only in terms of making better communicators, but how it affects students' thinking and awareness of what goes on between the lines - I could not agree more. LINGUISTICS FOR EVERYONE!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

How language shapes the way we work? | Business Management and English Language at Aston

How language shapes the way we work? | Business Management and English Language at Aston | Language at Work | Scoop.it
Words are really powerful — no wonder more and more business leaders take greater notice. As Branson says: “In business, language is often used as a weapon. Sharp-suited  businesspersons can try to intimidate with complicated wordplay and hide behind acronyms, when all that is needed is simple terms to explain the issues. I always stop people who are overcomplicating things and ask them to put it in plain terms. If they can’t, what they are talking about is probably not worth the trouble. The same goes with business pitches – if you can’t explain it on the back of an envelope, it’s probably rubbish”.

Greater notice, however, doesn’t always mean better notice. Words can only become weapons if they are used effectively — and the only way to achieve this is by understanding how language really works. Linguistics, that is.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

How just a little small talk can get you the job

How just a little small talk can get you the job | Language at Work | Scoop.it
Researchers found the first 12 words a prospective employee utters could make or break whether they are offered a job, but people without privileged backgrounds struggle to make small talk.
Lingua Digitalis's insight:

I am unsure about the 12 words (we have seen similar claims about the first 3 seconds, about handshake, etc) but I am certain that confidence IS a critical point in securing  a job. It has nothing to do with "bred into people" though - it has to do with practice, self-awareness  and a conscious development of soft skills. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

The Neuroscience of Leadership

The Neuroscience of Leadership | Language at Work | Scoop.it
Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Research: Men Get Credit for Voicing Ideas, but Not Problems. Women Don’t Get Credit for Either

Research: Men Get Credit for Voicing Ideas, but Not Problems. Women Don’t Get Credit for Either | Language at Work | Scoop.it

Men who spoke up with ideas were seen as having higher status and were more likely to emerge as leaders. Women did not receive any benefits in status or leader emergence from speaking up, regardless of whether they did so promotively or prohibitively

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Save Yourself From Tedious Small Talk

Save Yourself From Tedious Small Talk | Language at Work | Scoop.it
What seems like banal banter can turn into something more meaningful—and even help your career—if you know how to steer the conversation.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Hire a linguist to do your marketing

Hire a linguist to do your marketing | Language at Work | Scoop.it

Marketing can make or break a launch, especially for startups. Think about getting someone on your team who has at least a foundational understanding of linguistics.…

Lingua Digitalis's insight:
Why does every company need an applied linguist. Volume 309237592
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Barack Obama’s pauses

Barack Obama’s pauses | Language at Work | Scoop.it
When Barack Obama won election to the White House in 2008, briskness seemed the order of the day. “Yes we can” was his campaign slogan, delivered in a no-nonsense style, redolent with purpose. With hindsight, listeners should perhaps have noticed that between the “Yes” and the “we can” lay the briefest of hesitations, a micro-gap, deserving of a comma and sometimes even given one. For this, as it turned out, was a president who was to be famous for his pauses.With the pauses went a crinkling of the chin, sometimes defiantly raised, sometimes sombrely lowered.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

What’s Worse than a Difficult Conversation? Avoiding One.

Real managers explain how they face tough talks.
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
on managing difficult conversations
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Cosmopolitan and Seat's purple car 'for women' featuring eyeliner headlights provokes backlash

Cosmopolitan and Seat's purple car 'for women' featuring eyeliner headlights provokes backlash | Language at Work | Scoop.it
A
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
I thought we were done with items produced in pink and  labelled as "for women" since Bic' major fail (http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2012/08/30/bic-for-her-what-they-were-actually-thinking-as-told-by-a-man-who-worked-on-tampons/#297a08d270ce) But hell no, bring out a ridiculously marketed car where the eyeliner shaped headlights and colour were supposed to sell the car over any other technical feature. Well done, Seat, for keeping the myth of the "blonde with an IQ of a cat" alive. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring | Language at Work | Scoop.it
PowerPoint slides "are toxic to education."
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Ban These Words From Your Vocabulary To Sound More Confident At Work - Forbes

Ban These Words From Your Vocabulary To Sound More Confident At Work - Forbes | Language at Work | Scoop.it
If you have great ideas, you need to know how to communicate them. At work as in relationships, it all starts with conveying confidence. But a challenge many high-achieving women run up against are bad speech habits that have been conditioned in us over the years.
Lingua Digitalis's insight:
These articles cause me physical pain. I might have something coming out soon to respond. Watch this space. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

The New Science of Building Great Teams

The New Science of Building Great Teams | Language at Work | Scoop.it

We now know that 35% of the variation in a team’s performance can be accounted for simply by the number of face-to-face exchanges among team members. We know as well that the “right” number of exchanges in a team is as many as dozens per working hour, but that going beyond that ideal number decreases performance. We can also state with certainty that in a typical high-performance team, members are listening or speaking to the whole group only about half the time, and when addressing the whole group, each team member speaks for only his or her fair share of time, using brief, to-the-point statements. The other half of the time members are engaging in one-on-one conversations, which are usually quite short. It may seem illogical that all those side exchanges contribute to better performance, rather than distract a team, but the data prove otherwise.

Lingua Digitalis's insight:
Guess what determines at least 50% of the success of a team? Communication, of course. MIT has now come up with a  way to measure it, too!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

So long, Innocent — lazy brands have found a new tone of voice to appropriate

So long, Innocent — lazy brands have found a new tone of voice to appropriate | Language at Work | Scoop.it

For at least the last decade, Innocent Drinks’ cosy-chatty-witty tone of voice has been the default voice for lazy brands to rip off. Never mind the deeper lessons to be learned from the chirpy smoothie-makers — like noticing how their tone reflects their whole outlook on life, or marvelling that they’ve managed to keep finding fresh gags and quality writers for nigh-on 20 years — No, mostly what copycat brands churned out was a tsunami of wackaging and inappropriately glib gibberish (glibberish?).

Lingua Digitalis's insight:
A spot-on assessment of the craze about the "innocent tone of voice" (the list of chatty brands just keeps growing, from banks, shampoos, milk and even train toilet) and a spooky insight into the future of 'artisan' corp comms. 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

When you change your brand’s language, you change what your customers see.

When you change your brand’s language, you change what your customers see. | Language at Work | Scoop.it

Some people are still sceptical how powerful language can be. So, here’s proof that language affects how you see the world around you. And, more than that, it changes what you see as well.

Lingua Digitalis's insight:
A thought-provoking summary about the power of language when it comes to our perception of reality.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lingua Digitalis
Scoop.it!

Communicate Magazine

Communicate Magazine | Language at Work | Scoop.it
Soft skills such as communication, decision making and strong leadership are being increasingly overlooked in favour of hard skills such as technical ability and type speed; despite their desirability in the digital sector.
Lingua Digitalis's insight:

Are we surprised that yet again survey has shown the importance of soft skills and the black of attention and acknowledgement they receive? I am certainly not surprised. 

more...
No comment yet.