Using bad language

So what does using ‘bad’ language and facilitation have in common? Have you been to a workshop facilitated by Liam Gallagher, Sir Les Patterson or Keith the Mauravian Swearing Bear? Maybe not – but this isn’t about foul language. It’s about thinking about the language you use.

I’m heavily involved in delivery of a Strategic Planning program for farming businesses across Western Australia. The program is designed to assist farmers to develop a strategic plan for their business. Workshops are run with groups of farmers from around the same area (eg Carnarvon, Hyden, Katanning, Moora and Ravensthorpe).

By the completion of the program at Munglinup we’d run five workshops with the same group of 12 farmers.  Talking about Vision, Goals, Strategies & Actions. We’d thought we’d done a good job.

In our final feedback session, one of the guys, Doc, said “This is all good stuff – but we don’t speak the same language as you! We don’t talk about Visions and Strategies. We do it!”

It was a really valuable comment and is helping us to reshape the program so we’re all speaking the same language. To see some participant feedback from the program, check out this video, Getting a clear direction.

And of course if you’d like some help in using the right language, get in contact.

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Andrew Huffer

Andrew Huffer has over 25 years experience in working with organisations, businesses, managers and communities and at a state, national and international level. He designs and delivers specialist engagement processes, with a focus on facilitating open decision making processes and skill development of clients. He has delivered presentations and workshops at a number of state, national and international conferences.

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