Mo asks L. David Marquet: What big idea do you have around using the language of leadership to build client relationships?
- The language we use today has been passed down from our parents and grandparents, and is in essence an industrial age language.
- In the past, language has adapted and changed as the work and society have evolved but more recently, language has fallen behind. Work and society are changing more rapidly than our language and this leads to communication issues.
- The underlying theme of the industrial age in terms of human connections was conformity, where disrupting the hierarchy typically caused problems. We need to retrain ourselves to connect instead of conform and we do that through language.
- Connection language is about being vulnerable without sharing too much; incremental intimacy is the key. It’s about reinforcing the idea of improvement instead of knowing all the answers right away.
- Clients are shrewd and if you try to pretend that you know it all instead of being authentic and honest, the relationship will be damaged.
- Communication is not part of the training for most complex expertise. One activity that we can do is saying “I don’t know” to a question a few times a week and being observant about how you feel about it, even when you do know the answer.
- We teach leadership as if it’s history, but that’s not the right metaphor. Language is the perfect metaphor for leadership because it’s all about practice and the words that we use to communicate with other people.
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