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Blog - Watch your Language!

Watch your Language!

Posted by Tracy Powley 07/03/16

speechThere was an interesting article in the Metro (p39) last week about the importance of the language organisations use in their communication with customers; advocating that better results can be achieved when personality comes through in the tone and style.

Completely agree that this helps – we have just moved banks from one of the awful big high street ones to Metro Bank, to get a better quality of customer service. Their whole approach is less “corporate”, reflected in language which is more accessible and down to earth (such as a section on a form headed “the very important (but boring) stuff”).  So far our experience of them has matched up to their written style.

But that is the key; the two absolutely have to be aligned.

There is no point in an organisation adopting a friendly, straightforward tone in its written messages, if the experience of doing business with them and talking to their people is complex and robotic. Said High St bank claims to want to work with small businesses and peppers its written promises with words such as “straightforward”, “clear” and “quick decision making”. But its processes, including no direct access to a business banking team, being held in endless layers of call queues and being told their rigidity is “our business model” actually contradicts all their marketing messages.

So think about language, tone and words, of course, but make sure the reality of your team’s behaviour and actions match them. People suss insincerity quickly – we did and changed supplier as a result.   

You may also be interested in our blog on Ridiculous Workplace Jargon or our workshops on managing workplace behaviour.

Tracy Powley
Tracy Powley

The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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