The top leaders know: Words count

17 minutes

•  Only pay and advancement tops clear communications

•  “It’s all important that you know which words matter”

(Total Recorded Time is 22:39)

Abraham Lincoln spoke briefly – perhaps for no more than three minutes -- at a ceremony in 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At the same ceremony, another speaker droned on for two hours.

But for well over a century, Lincoln’s 272-word address is remembered, recited, and even enshrined while no one remembers anything of Edward Everett’s 13,607-word oration.

Definitely, words count -- if you use them correctly. And that’s the point being driven by Joel Schwartzberg, a leadership communications coach whose clients have ranged from American Express to Comedy Central.

But Mr. Schwartzberg adds a layer of nuance to the concept that “words count.”

“In some cases, words count. And in some cases, they don’t,” he says. “That’s why it’s all important that you know which words matter.”

With tips and examples, he joins us for this Bizgnus podcast:

Please click here to watch the interview:

Mr. Schwartzberg’s latest book is “The Language of Leadership: How to Engage and Inspire Your Team,” (Berrett-Koehler Publishers; July 2021).

According to Gallup research only 13 percent of U.S. employees say their leaders communicate well.  That is a potentially huge problem since, according to workers surveyed by the Brunswick Group, 93 percent say “leadership that communicates directly and transparently” is what keeps them on the job, topped only by pay and the ability to move up.

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