While I tend to not get too hung up on language. However, I always try to improve my language to honour our differences and be more inclusive.
For example, one of the phrases I’m trying to change is my habit of saying, “You guys.”
It’s a long-standing habit of mine to say this, and it always seemed normal to say it.
These days I am consciously using phrases like “all of you,” “your team,” or their names.
Another phrase is when leaders and companies call people ‘their best assets.’
By definition, an asset is a valuable thing, person, or quality.
The challenge is people often think of assets from a scarcity mindset.
I once heard about a CEO who “had more money than God.” Yet, this CEO never believed he had enough and would spend all his time finding ways to earn more.
The sad part is that this CEO wasn’t happy with his life but believed he could be satisfied when he finally earned enough money.
What if leaders approach their people with the same scarcity mindset because they think of their people as assets?
Don’t get me wrong, I believe the intention is good, but we humans have a habit of letting our subconscious guide us. It’s in our wiring, so we can’t help it.
When thinking about your team, a scarcity mindset might mean you don’t believe you have enough people, the right skills, or experiences on the team.
This subconscious thought will leak out through your words and actions, and your team will get a quiet message that you don’t trust them.
What if, instead of thinking of people as assets, we think of them as *enablers*?
After all, isn’t that what they are?
The people you work with enable the success of you and the company. You have a very different type of problem if that’s not true.
Thinking of people as enablers shift the mindset from scarcity to abundance.
In abundance, you’re more likely to go to your team first to see how they might solve a challenging problem. Or, you might allow them to learn something new.
You will increase their ability to enable success through this subtle shift.
I started by saying I don’t get too hung up on language. However, what do you think?
Is this one worth getting hung up on?
I invite you to think of people as enablers as you go through the week ahead.
When you wonder if they can do something, invite them to explore how they can make it happen.
After all, they are the reason you got this far.
You’ve got this.