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How to Speak Human by Jennifer Jackson, Dougal Jackson

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An illustration shows a man standing with notebook in one hand and pen in other.

WordsThe power of using and choosing words wisely

There’s something undeniably wonderful — magical, even — about the way well-chosen words can make us feel. Well-crafted writing catches us up and carries us away, to wherever and whenever the writer wants to take us; just as well-delivered speeches wrench the air from our lungs and draw us towards new ideas and ideals.

Unfortunately, when it comes to words at work, most of us can relate to a meeting that goes something like this:

Cue an overenthusiastic young buck or go-getting doe leaping from their chair and bounding across the room. ‘We need to think outside the box’, they declare sagely. ‘If we’re really going to embrace blue-sky thinking, we need to reach into the bottom drawer for a competitive advantage.’ Another pause to let the significance of that statement sink in. Then, a strong finish. ‘I’m sure this is already on everyone’s radar. There’s lots of moving parts, but with a robust strategy we’ll innovate a solution. It’s just going to take some heavy lifting …’

Everyone’s nodding. We’re nodding. We’re all in alignment. We’re definitely singing from the same hymn sheet. We’re dying to get back out there and value-add. But, quite honestly, we’re fairly fucking confused about what we’re meant to be value-adding to.

Here’s the thing, though … [whispers] No-one else has any idea either.

This is just one example of a ...

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