After spending the last 19 years identifying underlying problems in both his own and other people’s businesses, Josh Cote claims an intentional choice of adopted language and wording in workplace environments has a positive effect on efficiency – and is often overlooked.
The widespread nature of digital and social technology has given communication managers a persistent migraine, as they are far from in control over their message, target, and timing of news and announcements. Personal branding also worries hierarchies, as employees who are primarily active on internal social networks become popular figures with greater name recognition inside the company than certain top managers – operating completely outside traditional workplace norms.
However, Josh Cote believes that businesses can still use language to their advantage. Words – whether coming from management, or whomever – allegedly affect the outcome companies are looking to achieve in terms of leadership, sales, recruitment, company culture, and team development.
Speaking after an industry conference in London on the 10th March where he addressed the topic, Cote said:
“Using positive, confident, upbeat language will help management achieve the positive outcome they’re looking for. Negative, unconfident, and even sarcastic language will put the odds against you,” argues Josh Cote. Indeed, where psychological research has previously supported the notion that the power of words can shape our behaviour without us consciously knowing it, Cote wants business leaders to regain some control of language lost in the online world by sharpening up implementation in the offline one.
In his talk, he revealed the results of previous studies in this area, where spoken words ‘ancient’, ‘Florida’ and ‘bingo’ had listeners walking around much slower than they were previously. The elderly connotations of these words had altered their behaviour subconsciously through the power of association. Reciprocally, Josh Cote wants business leaders to drive home consistent language and messaging to their teams to create a stronger identity.
“Achieving optimum levels of efficiency is often the path to unlocking the potential of a business. Use wording in praise and in instruction that mirrors the direction you want to go. Make it a habit, so it becomes second-nature to your team, and in turn – your company culture,” stated Josh Cote.