Language is a tool that human beings have used to communicate since prehistoric times. Its evolution over the years has resulted in differentiating us as a species from the other beings that live on earth.
Words are so powerful that they can be used for both good and evil. From a negative perspective, they can morally destroy an individual, and even cause conflicts between countries. On the contrary, when used positively, they can uplift someone’s mood, and build bridges between nations. Even the correct use of a word to designate or name a person or group can impact the perception of that said group in society.
In the workplace too, we must use language that reflects empathy and respect. While a few years ago, a harder and simpler tonality disguised itself as assertiveness to communicate in a professional setting, today it is necessary to empathize with our co-workers. Our choice of words, intentionally or unintentionally, can lead us to include or exclude others. It’s important to be always mindful of this. We must seek to use language in a way that it helps inspire those around us and brings out the best in them. Subtle as it may seem, we must be aware of implications language has in regard to the dignity of the people we communicate with, so that we can ensure that we make them feel respected even when it comes to delivering bad news, because, ultimately, it is language that makes us human, and it is a tool which can enable us to treat each other more humanely. Let’s remember that using inclusive language is a continuous journey.