Language As Action
We can’t do anything without language! Whether we are speaking or writing we need language! Language is a form of acting, we use language to act!
With that in mind, language as action comes in 5 forms:
- Requests & Offers
Assessments are judgements and opinions that we often live as the truth, for example, “girls can’t do maths”, “that was rude”. These are all assessments that are the observers opinion of what happened based on their standards.
Assertions are factual and can be proven, for example, “the car was red” or ” we have 5 pieces of work to do”. Interestingly the statement “We have 5 complex pieces of work to do” may not be an assertion, it could be (and often is) an assessment. The difference between an assessment and an assertion is the ability to be able to supply facts that support it and for those facts to be uncontested.
Declarations are statements that change the future for example “I will go to gym” or a statement by the CEO that the company will be using Agile. They are made by someone in authority.
Requests and Offers are statements used when we need to include other people in order to get something done. Observing conversations and teams working I have found that making requests that are clear and understood is not something most teams and individuals are that good at.
Promises or Commitments are how we actually get work done! A request normally has a promise to fulfil that request.
With these in mind, how are you using language to create high functioning, self-0rganising teams ? Is your team living inside assessments that they are taking to be true ?