Author’s note: this is part of a long blog series on our ability to communicate effectively and efficiently. Feel free to look back on previous blogs and explore previous material on communicating and how you can communicate better.
Part 8 – Words in Employee Communication
I have noticed an increase in articles about the use of profanity. Forbesmagazine and other business-related media outlets have been providing stories and opinions about the increase of profanity in the workplace.
I recently listened to a podcast about the use of profanity in the titles of books being displayed in retail outlets. This past presidential election revealed a dramatic increase in profanity used in political speeches by both parties.
Regardless of your aversion to or preference for profanity, the selection of words used today is dramatically different now from even a few years ago.
Words matter, and even the most crass and careless of us have been both negatively and positively affected by words. Words are tools that we can use to tear people down and to build people up. It hard to imagine the use of profanity doing anything other that tearing people down, so does the increase in profanity relate to an increase in our tearing people down? I certainly hope not.
Our job as an employer should always be to build people up. Our employees are part of our machinery that is our business. They need care and nurturing just like we handle our expensive equipment.
If we have employees that we feel the need to tear down and demean, then get rid of them and bring in employees that respond to a caring voice of instruction. That alone will make your job as boss and their job as employee much easier; life will be more enjoyable, and you will most likely see that reflected on the bottom line.
God has commanded us to be careful with the words we use. Matthew 12:36-37 says.
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
God cares deeply about how we use words. Once a word leaves our mouth it cannot be retrieved. Just like toothpaste, once out of the tube, it stays out. And those thoughtless words will comeback to haunt us, if not in this life, on judgement day.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
Even if you are not a Christian, what could be wrong with this being a mantra you live by? You are in business and are dependent on customers who need to rely on and trust you. The words you use daily gives them the foundation on which they will place their trust.
If you speak negatively, pass on gossip, speak ill of other customers, won’t the person you are talking to wonder about how you speak of them? Why would you not want to be known as a businessperson who speaks positively and encouraging all the time?
Proverbs 13:3 goes straight to the point.
The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
No one learns anything while talking; wisdom and knowledge come only from listening. Jesus is the Word of God (John 1) and He gives us the words of life. The advice from the Bible about choosing your words is not only great business advice, but it is freeing advice and life saving.
Freeing advice because if we are sincere with our words, we have nothing to hide or worry about.
Life saving advice because those same words will be used to judge us one day.