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Through my career working in technology I've become accustomed to hearing certain phrases from programming and engineering folks. These phrases may seem rather harmless on the surface but I've seen how they can tear others down and create a divide between technology staff and others in the workplace. I've heard these phrases hundreds if not thousands of times, so much so that I cringe each time I hear them. After the break are some of these phrases and ideas on what you can say instead.

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This entry was posted by Aaron West on July 24, 2013 at 8:47 AM. It was filed in the following categories: Personal. It has been viewed 46359 times and has 2 comments.

2 Responses to Constructive Versus Destructive Language

  1. How do you propose we bridge the gap between the "Us vs. Them" mentality that brews with such destructive communication tactics?

  2. @David - there are likely a bunch of things you could do. But I would suggest starting with your day-to-day activities and interactions with your co-workers.

    Step 1: Be cognizant of what you say to others.
    Don't assume you are correct. Listen to others. Consider how what you are saying will come across to the other person.

    Step 2: Identify destructive language you are using.
    Start with my examples and expound on them. Try and catch yourself using destructive language and when you can replace this language with a constructive equivalent.

    Step 3: Encourage others to do the same.
    Monitor your own progress and your own awareness (and how it changes) with respect to steps 1 and 2. As you see progress within yourself encourage your team members to do the same. You'll already be encouraging them by your actions which they will have probably noticed already.

    Step 4: As you learn more, adjust the above steps or add more.
    Like I said at the start of my comment, there are a number of things you can do. The key is to "start with something" (perhaps these steps) and be prepared to make changes as you progress and as changes are necessary.

    Just my 2 cents worth.