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Sunday, September 27, 2009

HBR September 2009: How to Use Language (in business)

This the second of several postings this week regarding the September 2009 issue of the Harvard Business Review, which I highly recommend you purchase for your executives.

How to Use Language
By Neeli Bendapudi and VenVenkat Bendapudi

Like any action a leader takes, it’s not just what the leader does but how he or she does it. Delivery has always been a critical part of communication—thus understanding the audience. These researchers have discovered that leaders who “resonate” often strike an analogous tune that reverberates or resonates well with their colleagues. For example when then-BAE Systems CEO, Walt Havenstein (now at SAIC) communicates with engineers even about non-technical issues, he uses engineering symbols like > or <. Others use analogies like those related to movie making and such. Tuning into an audience’s language, customs and stories is not new….Aristotle discussed these very tenets, but It’s good to have research reinforce a old master like Aristotle.

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