Communication essentials: great

Great? ew.

With all due respect to Tony the Tiger, I think it may be time to stop using the word ‘great.’ It has had a, well, great run. Books, movies, songs, theories, history, policies, arguments and more have all benefited from using this word. But now? It might be time to move on.

I featured a Forbes article in this week’s ‘ben thinking’ that talked about leadership languages. One of the languages the author recommended experimenting with was words. Specifically:

“… a leader needs to make sure their words are very specific to a person’s positive impact. Avoid generalities such as ‘you are doing great!’”

Ugh. This guy is guilty of that. Do you know how many times I’ve replied with ‘great!’ or ‘nice!’? Too many. And apparently many more times than I should have. When you consider the work your teams are doing, telling them ‘why’ you think the work is great … or what makes them great … shouldn’t be too difficult to deliver. I’m also excited about what this can do for all of us, as leaders, as we look to engage more with our teams.

So, challenge accepted. Especially as the year winds down and I am looking for real New Year’s resolutions. Without the help of a thesaurus, I intend to be much more specific in providing feedback. You could say I have great high expectations.