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Individual words can carry many meanings or be included in phrases that create new meanings. When capturing language for internal teams and action, a set of words might be used that only makes sense internally, can only be understood by people in your industry, or can potentially create misunderstandings when heard by others not familiar with your meanings. Reflect on a situation where misunderstandings may have occurred. What happened?

When choosing words for marketing, your product or service needs to be understood, appreciated, and wanted by your potential and existing customers. The words your team selects will promote purchases or prevent them. Market research is helpful. Focus groups might point you to best possible language choices. Customer feedback – unsolicited and solicited – may provide free information that will help you improve your language choices, images, and actual product and purchasing-process mechanisms. Listen to what is spoken, written, or put into social media to determine which comments you will take action upon.

This week, the word FORCE is the word with many meanings. Here are some examples from this week’s conversations.

Force – A dictionary definition of force states that it is: strength and energy as a component of physical movement. It also means: coercion often with the use or threat of violence.

Not a great thing to think about using in our daily life, is it? Yet, there are many phrases in our weekly life that include the word “force.” Here are some examples.

Force Fit – When something or someone does not fit, the phrase “force fit” is sometimes used to express that an attempt was made (by force) to make the fit happen. Maybe an object yielded and a fit did happen. Maybe a person became compliant (healthfully, or perhaps unhealthily) and a forced fit has worked out. Most often, a force fit scenario results in damage to objects and harm to people and organizations.

Use of Force – From law enforcement, the use of force continuum ranges from showing up in uniform to demonstrate a presence (we are here, keeping an eye on things and there’s a potential for use of force if things go sideways) to lethal force (in which someone dies). Of course, there are many levels of force between these two extremes. The concept of using the low-force to middle-force portion of this continuum to persuade people to do things can be expanded into workplace practices and into our family dynamics and interactions as well.

Forced-choice – From school days, think “forced-choice” or multiple-choice questions. A forced choice happens when a broad range of options or choices is narrowed to a handful of potential choices by someone else and you are asked to choose from the limited list.

Force Open – Some things stick closed. When this happens, force is sometimes used to get the door, window, or object open. Beware of damage that can occur from forcing things open.

Force Field – Magnets have a force field. Some people seem to have personality force fields that push others away, while other people have a drawn-to-me personality force field. Gravitational and electrical force fields also exist. What force fields exist in your workplace?

Force Majeure – legal world terminology that appears in contract language. This means unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract. Or, it can mean an irresistible force greater than can perhaps be overcome.

The Force – for Star Wars fans far and wide, The Force is the power from within that Jedi Warriors harness for good, or for evil when they turn to “the dark side”.

How do you use force in your workplace?

Whatever force you use, may you harness it for good things to happen and not for harm.

Want to brainstorm? Or explore how to improve morale? Perhaps you are ready to review your business practices. Contact Jana: 208-367-1701

As the author of seven books, in seven languages, Jana has been interviewed by U.S., Canadian, and European programs, and magazines. Her presentations have been seen in the United States and India by international audience members.

Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. Together we can find working solutions.

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