Language and Change LO6104

Charlie Holdener (
16 Mar 96 06:57:40 EST

Replying to LO5967 --

On Mar 3 you wrote about the effect our language has on people's
"Willingness to Change":

>It is usually not the outcomes that are rejected, it is how we present
>them. If our language does not match the thinking patterns of our clients,
>we invite their rejection. If an executive 'buys' a program from us (as
>internal or external consultants) for some specific outcome, we need to
>work with those managers and employees in ways they do not reject.

>If we are working from within, to become the 'change agent' (or is it
>'improvement agent') that sparks the fire, we need to know how to be, how
>to present our ideas, in such a way that it matches the present thinking
>patterns. This is the way to introduce 'change' or 'improvement' so that
>it is acceptable and then embraced and then implemented. "

I just read your post from Mar 3 about language and change, and I thought
the ideas were wonderful. (They agreed so much with my own! <grin!>)

But seriously. For me you pin-pointed many things which I have
suspected/noticed and which I had actually started doing myself because
they worked, when so many other approaches I've used and see others using
don't. What I've found works in connecting with people is NOT quoting
authors and books and terms so much (often done to support my cause or
boost my uncertain confidence) and instead listening and asking questions
and trying to understand where they are coming from and their concerns, so
1) I understand the real problem! and 2) what I say makes sense to them.

My success is still uneven, partly from the discipline it's taken to stop
"telling" in my words vs listening and talking in other's words, and
partly because I didn't fully understand what I've been moving toward or
why it's worked. Your thoughts have helped me frame this in my own mind
better, so Thank You.

(NOTE: It's not too many years ago I wouldn't have had a CLUE what you
were talking about, either! One thing I've found is that knowledge, of
this type especially, is often better used than talked about.)

Charlie Holdener


Charlie Holdener <>

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