Leading Through Language: Choosing Words That Influence and Inspire

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9781119087717: Leading Through Language: Choosing Words That Influence and Inspire
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Become a more effective leader—cut the jargon and say what you mean

Leveraging. Strategizing. Opening the kimono. Unlocking human capital. Trying to nail that BHAG. All on a go forward basis. These are only a few examples of the jargon-ridden language that is too often the mainstay of business communication. Jargon frustrates, confuses, and generally alienates listeners. Yet it's also everywhere, and using it can often seem like a mandatory requirement for anyone who wants to establish credibility in a professional workplace.

To be an effective leader, you must be brave enough to be the first to drop jargon in favor of simple, coherent language. This can be difficult if you've spent years immersed in business culture, but Leading Through Language will show just how much you've come to rely on jargon, why it's holding you back, and how to trim it away to more effectively convey information and ideas.

  • Understand why jargon is reviled, yet ubiquitous
  • Learn why "business speak" gets in the way of business
  • Discover what kind of language influences and inspires others
  • Convey ideas with clarity, energy, and conviction
  • Approach all communication as an act of leadership

Communication often falls by the wayside in favor of more measurable data-backed performance metrics; but good communication has the power to improve metrics in every area of an organization. Leading Through Language is the business world's much-needed guide to true leadership communication, showing you how to eliminate idle talk and master compelling communication.

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From the Back Cover:

a practical guide to cutting the jargon and speaking as a leader

Advance Praise for Leading Through Language

"Leaders at all levels have to be able to communicate their ideas with confidence, passion and clarity. The Humphrey Group's methodology—set out in this book—has helped leaders at Goldcorp develop this crucial skill set."
—Charles A. Jeannes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Goldcorp

"At RBC we want our leaders to be able to influence and inspire through communication. Bart and The Humphrey Group understand how to teach this important ability with clear, practical guidance, and have been instrumental in the development of our leaders."
—Susan Uchida, Vice President, Learning, RBC Royal Bank

"The higher up in an organization you rise, the more important your ability to communicate becomes. If you are an executive already or aspire to be one at some point down the line, you need to be deliberate about the messages you share and the words you use to share them. This book will help you do both."
—Chuck M. Fallon, Chief Executive Officer, FirstService Residential

"We often underestimate the physiological response our language can generate within a listener. Whether you want to inspire someone or deliver feedback, it is essential to choose your words with care so your message can be received in an emotionally-sensitive manner. This book explains how to do so."
—Jorina Elbers, Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences, Child Neurology, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford

"Deloitte's success depends on providing our clients with clear, compelling advice they can use to make sound business decisions. The guidance in this book has strengthened my ability to convey advice to my clients with clarity and conviction."
—Michael Morrow, Partner and Senior Managing Director, M&A Advisory, Deloitte

"The most effective leaders I know are those who can translate complex ideas into easy-to-understand messages. They are clear thinkers, skip the jargon, and concisely deliver on their key messages. Leading Through Language shows how to do this every time you speak."
—Geri Prior, Chief Financial Officer, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

From the Inside Flap:

Using blue-sky thinking, picking the low-hanging fruit, opening the kimono, unlocking human capital, leveraging core competencies. Much of today's business communication is so riddled with jargon that audiences are left confused and uninspired. So why is this kind of language so common? More importantly, what kind of language should leaders use?

In Leading Through Language, leadership communication expert Bart Egnal answers these questions. Egnal reveals why jargon is so prevalent in the workplace, and why it usually undermines those who use it. He demonstrates how effective leaders have the courage to reject fuzzy terminology in favor of the language of leadership. Simply put, the language of leadership is language that clearly and powerfully brings ideas to life for the audience.

Step by step, Egnal shows leaders how to inspire when they communicate. He explains how to approach communication as an opportunity to lead, by first defining a clear, convincing message, and then by delivering that message using powerful language. Leading Through Language makes clear how to choose words that bring a vision to life while conveying personal convictions. The book draws on extensive interviews with corporate leaders; accounting, law, and medical professionals; and athletes who provide insights into jargon and its implications for effective communication.

This book is not simply for executives — it is written for managers, technical specialists and for any professional who wants to move others to action when they speak or write. Leading Through Language is a practical guide for mastering the art of powerful communication that is clear and inspirational. Now leaders can share their ideas using jargon-free words that will engage and motivate their entire organization.

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