There are lots of themes that come up time and again with our work with clients. When it comes to chaos in organisations, team friction is often a source. In my book, Influential Internal Communication, I talk about how to fix team friction and the common themes you need to explore as you diagnose the root cause of issues.
If this is something you’re looking at, you can get a deeper insight into how to fix this by reading The Fearless Organisation by Amy Edmondson. I listened and read the book to help me understand more about the role of psychological safety in the workplace. It has huge links to leadership, teamwork and innovation so if this is an area of focus for you, it’s a great accompaniment to my book!
This is one of my favourite passages from the book where the author talks to Julie Morath, chief operating officer at Children’s Hospital and Clinics in Minneapolis:
She introduced new terminology (“words to work by”) that altered the meaning of events and actions in important ways; for instance, instead of an “investigation” into an adverse event, the hospital would use the term “study”; instead of “error” she suggested people use “accident” or “failure”.
These small changes in language help people think differently. They can stop people from blaming each other and they can start to shift the culture and create changes in relationships. Language is so important when it comes to communication so it’s always worth exploring how words need to be altered inside your organisation.