… and what to do about it?
You’ll have been there, I’m sure… The conversation waxes and wanes, ranges about, goes round and round, without anybody ever seeming to “nail” the issue. Nobody falls out, but they never quite seem to line up either.
Why is that?
There could be lots of reasons, but one of them is very common…
That’s the use of oh-so-familiar, seemingly very normal, totally acceptable abstract nouns like integrity, empowerment, engagement, mediation, globalization, manipulation, trust, leadership and so on—all activities with the verbs taken out.
Any conversation that builds on words like these is bound to be dissatisfying. It’ll seem inoffensive probably, but it won’t add much value either.
You see, the trouble is…
Every single person understands these words differently, so as we converse using them, nobody’s talking about exactly the same thing, and so the reality is, we’re trying to nail the proverbial jelly.
What’s to do?
To straighten it all out, we need to put the verbs back in and express the nominalizations, as they’re called, as behaviors. For example, “integrity” might be “always being and acting true to what you say.”
But you thought “integrity” meant something else?
Well exactly, that’s the point.
Until we nail “integrity” down as some observable behaviors, we’ll go round in circles trying to promote it.
Switch on to these abstract nouns and you’ll see this fog is everywhere.
Do you notice? It’s a big deal.
Or you could ask me to speak at your event or guest on your program.