Do You Measure Your We-We?
December 4, 2012 3 Comments
The next time you’re talking with someone in a position of authority or responsibility, try this: Count the number of times they say “we” or “us” — versus “me”, “my” or “I”.
For example, imagine you work at a company that makes gizmos. You’ve worked hard with a group of people to create the gizmo, and someone in a leadership position relates a story about meeting with a potential Client and says: “I want them to see the value of my product.”
Oh really, it’s your product?
Or, are they more inclusive, and instead say something like: “We want to show them the value we can provide.”
I would argue that in certain situations, leaders who use words that are inclusive (like “we” or “our”) resonate more strongly with the people around them than those who make things about themselves.
Personally, I am put off by a person who makes it all about them. I’m sure this is much more about me and my issues than them and their words, but I often wonder how people would respond to their leaders if more inclusive words are used. I’m sure there are studies that have looked at this.
So the next time you’re thinking about how to communicate to your team (or listening to someone in leadership), consider measuring your (or their) we-we factor (not wee-wee, come on kids!), and see if you notice any difference when inclusive words are used.
What do you think? Are you turned off by people who make things about themselves? Does it make any difference in how you feel? Or, are people like me just too sensitive?