How the Experience of Language Affects Business
Do clients and business partners interpret your message differently than you intended?
Miscommunication happens more often then we realize, and it’s all because of the experience of language.
How does Experience influence Language?
When we learn the meaning of words, we often associate meaning based on our experience with that word. Think of words like marriage, education, and diet. People react to these words very differently depending on their real-world experience with the events they represent. Having this awareness will make you more reflective and deliberate in the words you choose to communicate with, especially in business.
How do YOU Interpret Words?
When we speak, our words often hold implied meanings. This happens unknowingly as we rarely stop to think about how we interpret language. Once we are aware of this distinction, it can help to unpack concepts and meanings to everyday, ordinary speech.
It is a worthwhile exercise to review the most popular words, phrases, and taglines used in your business and dissect the language for how it may be interpreted. If you have words that are strongly associated with experience such as divorce, overweight, or debt in your message, consider if it is being used the way you intend it to be used. Are you attracting or repelling your target market? Are there alternate words that could communicate your message more effectively?
Consider your own experience with words that may be interpreted in a variety of ways, such as happiness, family, or safety. These words are deeply rooted in values; therefore, they tend to be powerful for some and neutral for others.
It is a fascinating way to discover which words hold meaning, both negative and positive, for you and your clients. In business, take inventory of your own experience with language when it comes to your important messages and ensure you are using the language that will garner your intended result.
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