Language in Leadership

I’ve recently submitted my official Application for Graduation from the Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics, effective December 2017. No question, I’ve discovered and defined a lot. Greatest of all things I picked up in the program, I’ve learned to be overtly complex. I used to be covertly complex, without effective language to describe the world around me. I went about my work and personal life trying to hide the idea that I was aggravated by impracticality, politically not-so-savvy moves, intellectually unsound behavior, or unrealistic expectations. In the past, there have been situations where my raw reaction and emotion have caused me to compromise my position, the moral high ground, or my rank in the organization. I was tempted by my urge to “tell it like it is,” instead of saying something more politically appropriate.

Based on my exposure in this program, I realize now that those emotional outbursts materialized because I was seeing and feeling things, an intuition if you will, with no adequate way to express them. My affliction was partly because I didn’t have the correct terminology or models of organizations from which to draw. Even more, I didn’t know how to express these ideas effectively. I know now that a specifically worded comment or question on a situation can diffuse not only my own feelings about the situation, but can also lend itself to improving the workplace conflict overall. I might have already known how to communicate specifically in times of chaos, but this program has shown me the value of communication in the workplace as a preemption to turmoil or disaster. Skillful ambiguity with language can dance around an idea until a listener grasps precision in the message. Sometimes, leadership is about leading a listener toward the edge of an understanding and supporting them as they grasp a message on their own. That act, that choice to obtain a new truth makes it their own. It’s not yours, not handed to them, not demanded of them. It’s now their own idea.

– Anthony J. Asciutto