A Human Approach

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Follow the Emerging Leader – part three

Language is an agreement, like a habit. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, then it must be a duck…right? In order to communicate we agree that certain words describe certain things, actions, events, emotions etc. Take the word “table” for example. The word implies a flat surface with four legs. But what “table” actually emerged in your mind’s eye? A four-legged table? A pedestal table? A periodic table? A times table? Words are a basis for description and it’s our emotions that fill in the blanks. In fact, just by changing the label of something, we can change the emotions and entirely change the meaning. “Work” is a four letter word just like “play”. Can you imagine if we substituted the word “play” for “work” the difference in how we’d feel about the efforts we invested eight or so hours a day? The actions might likely be the same but because we’ve decided that we’re playing rather than working, we’d likely take a different view point, have a spring in our step and a bigger smile on our face! Now what if we substituted the word “purpose” for “work”? Instead of heading out the door to work, we’d head out the door on “purpose”. How would that new label change emotions and our actions? Leaders create purpose for their organization. Equally important of the purpose is both the communication and alignment of that purpose. Consider your team is a group of rowers in a boat. If everyone is rowing to the same rhythm in the same direction with the same intention, you’ll head purposefully in the desired direction. If the team is unclear, like the rowers without a drummer, your team will move as a group of individuals, not as a team on purpose. In Daniel Pink’s book entitled, “Drive” he suggests playing “Whose purpose is it anyway?” It’s an exercise designed to close the gap between perception and reality. During a team gathering, give everyone in your organization a blank piece of paper and ask them to write on it the answer to the question, “What is our company’s (or organization’s) purpose?” Then read the cards and compare the answers. What labelling has each of the individuals agreed is the purpose of the organization? Are they working, playing or investing their time on purpose? One last question. Is it possible to create purposeful habits through effective communication? www.brazzers.com Inspiring Results on Purpose ®

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