Whether you are writing an e-mail, leaving a voicemail, having a telephone conversation, meeting with someone, presenting information to a group or promoting yourself through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or on a personal or business website, it is important to watch your language. This means choosing your words with care, selecting the appropriate tone, imagining yourself as the reader or receiver of your communication and making all of the necessary adjustments.
I was reminded of this lesson recently when I read the content of a new business website. In an attempt to promote their new and improved products and services, this business took the opportunity to criticize its competitors for their old and inferior products and services. In fact, individuals from these competitor businesses were instrumental in providing advice and support so that this business owner could launch their business.
This is a trap that many businesspeople fall into as they bask in the glow of the lucky breaks that often accompany the launch of a new business. They find themselves becoming too busy and self-focused for gratitude and generosity; looking down on others from the peak of their success; discounting the work and wisdom from the many people who got them there and forgetting the old saying that you meet the same people on the way up as you do on the way down. This business owner squandered a golden opportunity to promote themselves as a confident, committed and client-focused product and service provider and their business as a creative, co-operative and collaborative contributor to competitors in the same business.
If you are a business owner or an employee of an organization, make the time and effort to watch your language and ensure that what you say and write paints a realistic picture of how you want others to see you and your business. Choose your words with care and your tone with commitment. What do you want your communication to reflect about you and your business? Do you want others to see you and your business as leaders who communicate with honesty, sensitivity, generosity, positivity and productivity? As you and your business watch your language in your communications, you will be setting an example of excellence and sharing a best practice with clients, customers and competitors.