behavior Team building

The Power of ‘We’: How Changing One Word Can Transform group Dynamics

Have you ever noticed how using the word “they” can create a sense of separation and division within an organization?

It’s almost as if you can see the wall being built between groups when they refer to each other as “they.” But what if we told you that changing just one word – “they” to “we” – could help break down those walls and promote unity within your team? This idea is explored in depth in the book “Leadership is Language” by David Marquet.

Using “we” instead of “they” can have a powerful impact on team dynamics and help foster a more cohesive and collaborative environment.

When you use “we,” you are including yourself in the group and implying that you are all working towards a common goal.

It sends a message that you are all in this together and willing to support and help each other.

For example, let’s say a team needs help with meeting deadlines. Instead of saying, “they need to work faster,” a more practical approach might be to say, “we need to find ways to improve our efficiency and meet these deadlines.”

This shift in language acknowledges that the problem affects the entire team and encourages everyone to be a part of the solution.

It also aligns with extreme ownership, where each team member takes responsibility for their actions and works to find ways within their control to do better.

On the other hand, using “they” can create a sense of distance and disconnection within a team. It suggests that there are “us” and “them” and that you are not a part of the same team.

This can lead to a breakdown in communication and a lack of trust between team members.

So next time you find yourself using “they,” try swapping it out for “we” instead.

It may seem like a small change, but it can significantly affect how your team functions and works together.

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