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Words and language: how they influence and reflect

December 21, 2016

 

As yet another year draws to an end my head is full of musings over WORDS and how they influence and reflect the global zeitgeist. This Quarterly Share focuses on some very specific and prominent words in 2016 that will flow through to 2017: post-truth, diva, impact, coaching, thanks, renewal, gratitude, and democracy sausage!
 
The 2016 word of the year is POST-TRUTH, which equates to propaganda and mistruth. Something we humans are very good at and strongly drawn to. It has made me reflect on my own post-truth world and where a little truth-twisting is perhaps okay and where I overstep the line into gratuitous self-serving.
 
My big word for 2017 is DIVA. I plan to hold myself to the highest account in being big, bold and heard in a way that shakes the status quo and leads us to better outcomes.
 
The driving word in my Leadership Practice is IMPACT. There is much talk of the footprint we leave as citizens and as leaders. My role is to ensure improved sophistication in the way leaders understand their impact and their ability to ensure it builds upon rather than undermines.
 
The word I am currently hung up on is COACHING. My frustration stemming from the high level of misunderstanding and underutilisation of a word which represents a way of being we all need more of. My commitment is to breathe new life and meaning into this wonderful word so that the practice of coaching can be embraced by leaders everywhere in a similar way that mindfulness has moved out of hippie into the mainstream.
 
My word to all of you is THANKS! Thanks for reading my Quarterly Share and my blog posts. Thanks for working with me for a better world with stronger leadership. And an especially big thank you for any time you have dared to stand up for what you believe in in a way that has improved who you are and positively impacted the lives of others. I do what I do because I believe the way to a better, kinder world is through leadership at all levels: self, others and organisations.
 
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and all the very best of strong leadership and inspiring impact for 2017.
 
My gift to you is a promise I will continue in my quest for a better world through better leadership:
 
One of my coaching clients this week shared, after a relentless year of change and uncertainty with more to come in the new year, that her time off over Christmas would be one of RENEWAL. I found the word renewal such a powerful way to view time off that it inspired me to write my own list of renewal activities:
 

  • Read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. And if you’ve already read it, read it again.
     

  • Indulge in nature, whether it’s a walk on the beach, camping in the bush or hanging out in your own garden or local park.
     

  • Do nothing! Sleep, meditate, watch the clouds roll by…
     

  • Have some fun. Do something that will put a smile on your face and laughter in your belly. Look around. There is so much fun to have, yet we so often find ourselves overwhelmed by the un-fun stuff.
     

  • Take time out to imagine what renewal means for you and how you can best kick-start the new year with a good dose of renewal and set some habits in place to keep it going throughout the year ahead.
     

  • And most importantly: Be GRATEFUL. Don’t just think it: Live it. Believe it. Embrace it. Life is too short and the world too wonderful to have your legacy be one of ingratitude.

 
I am grateful the Australian word for 2016 is DEMOCRACY SAUSAGE. Not Brexit, not terror, not climate. For one, it is not a word, but two words. Who cares really!
And two, it doesn’t get any more sophisticated and important than a snag in bread. Let’s hope we keep it that way…
 

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns;
I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

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