August 17; It’s Only Words. And Words Are All I Have. To Take Your Heart Away MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Chapter Eight: Communication; 17 August
…a harsh word stirs up anger.
|It’s Only Words. And Words Are All I Have. To Take Your Heart Away.*|
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the USA from 1901 to 1908, was a big game hunter who once took a yearlong African safari. He was an inquisitive life-long learner who said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” (Wikipedia)
The history of leadership suggests that gentle words usually deliver the best results.
Words should be diplomatic expressions. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “Paradoxically, where words are concerned soft is powerful and hard is ineffective.” (Bishops)
The manager and marketers use words as tools to advance organizational goals. Words help us transfer emotion. The manager will spend most of his or her day communicating.
The Individual Contributor does all the work; the boss talks about it all day. This is Management.
The words you choose matter. Rough-Riding cowboys would give warning on the careful use of “fightin’ words.” Bar-fight etiquette of the Wild West used the emoticon of its day: “smile when you say that.”
The Fairer Gender is well attuned to nuance. A woman can be a “kitten.” But let’s not call her “catty.”
Ritz Crackers tested words for a new product. They found that “Baked” is good for chicken but not for chips. “Toasted” was the better word.
Marketing managers in the middle of the 1900’s understood words. Dye job is bad; hair coloring is good notes historian William Manchester. (Manchester 1973)
Names and naming matters. The letters ‘KIA’ make any Vietnam-era veteran cringe. “Killed in Action” would seem to be a harsh name for an automobile. But the phrase is of a different time and has new meaning in a new generation. But not to the demographic bracketing Your Business Professor.
Kentucky Fried Chicken? “Fried” is not a good word in today’s market. And the initialed KFC is shorter. And shorter is better as pollster and best-selling author Frank Luntz, Ph.D. in his book, Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear, reminds us of the Winston Churchill quote, “ Broadly speaking, short words are the best, and old words best of all.” (Frank Luntz 2007)
“Abortion” is another unhealthy word as the pro-abortion organization NARAL might suggest. The group used to be known as “National Abortion Rights Action League.”
Phrases matter. Soft and good: “When I’m with her, time stands still.” Harsh and bad:
“She has a face that could stop a clock.”
Your Business Professor has a line drawing of HMS Victory over his desk; a profile of the hull of the ship that Lord Nelson made famous in the sea battle at Trafalgar against the French; against Napoleon. The English won, as usual.
And this is where USA leadership gets the Global War on Terror wrong: Men won’t die in combat for “Success in Iraq.” They will sacrifice and die for “Victory.”
We don’t have “Success in Jesus.” We have Victory.
President Teddy (TR) Roosevelt, enshrined on Mount Rushmore, would speak softly, persuasively, diplomatically to foreign governments but his words had a “big stick” behind them. This would be the same instrument he took hunting. “Big Stick” is what Roosevelt called his .405 Winchester rifle. (Stream)
… a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1b
*It is never good form to correct the grammar in a love song. Matters of the heart transcend subject-verb agreement. (Gees 1968)