The words we use

...and why most of them are meaningless.

The words we use
Photo by Glen Carrie / Unsplash

Often when organisations think and discuss their future, the words that they choose to use to describe that future...are not their own.

Fancy sounding mission and vision statements are crafted; they sound magnificent, but are 100% forgettable.

The funny thing about words is that if they don't resonate with us on a deeply personal level, then we don't see them as a part of what we truly think and feel.

If they miss the mark of making us feel something about the future we are trying to build - then they miss altogether.

As an example, I did some work with a client who was trying to capture words that described what they (as a business) were 'all about' - their 'guiding principle' if you will, as an organisation.

After weeks of tweaks and debates and revisions - a beautifully crafted sentence was produced.

It was lovely; sounded like something a very expensive ad agency would have come up with.

When I pushed them on it - the words had zero affect on them. Nothing.

Nobody could remember them, nobody got excited when reading them out aloud.

So we scrapped those words and went back the drawing board.

Eventually a very simple sentence emerged, that out of context, had absolutely no meaning for anyone else outside of the organisation, but for them, it was hugely inspirational.

And that's the thing with important words and saying that are selected because they guide us; they need to carry weight for the right people. It doesn't matter what they are or how stunning they sound; they just need to be meaningful.