12 Aug If language shapes reality, what are you talking about?
Just how much impact language has on the way we think is challenging to actually determine. What we do know from countless research papers is that language focuses our perception, attention and thought on specific aspects of the world.
I don’t subscribe to the ‘think and be happy’ movement. Life is more complex and nuanced than that. However the idea that the percentage of time we use a word in a conversation can impact positively or negatively on ourselves and others is a very valid one to consider at this time.
Think about the word “stress”. It was banned in my daughters HSC year by her teachers because it was being used so liberally that students would say “I’m stressed” and the domino of that would create behaviours in their family, friends and teachers.
Being able to clearly articulate our feelings is important. Making sure we use the right words to describe these feelings is a responsibility.
We are all prone to hyperbole or understatement…but right now in the middle of the pandemic it might be worth bringing a bit of discipline to our language use and making sure we aren’t creating unnecessary negative contagion with our words.
A team I am working with recently decided that they were all talking way too much about how ‘depressed’ they were when actually they felt a bit sombre. This team checks in with each other a lot and are very good at connecting. But something was missing. We had a great conversation about what they were saying in every meeting and they decided right now what was missing was FUN! Laughter and a bit of silly.
Many of you will know a LONG time ago I ran the Melbourne International Comedy Festival… So I put my thinking cap on with one of my favourite humans, comedian, actor and improvisation star Russell Fletcher to see if we could create more fun for teams.
We came up with a brand new virtual workshop “TEAM ZOOMIES”. For 30 minutes Russell (and other comedians) can join your team in to inject some fun with improvisation and a few non-naff activities, helping teams to connect and build team morale, because we all know that laughter is the best medicine.