How important is the language we use in communicating?

How important is the language we use in communicating?
Rob Gerard, NEC Users' Group Secretary, shared his observations on the language used in NEC related communications: "Most NEC3 contracts require us to communicate in a form that can be 'read, copied and recorded' - see clause 13.1 of the NEC3 ECC. 
 
"But what sort of language should we actually use in such communications, and when we are in say a risk reduction meeting, what language should we use there? I often I hear people using I/you quite prolifically rather than we/us. What state of mind do you think that creates? 
 
"If somebody in a risk reduction meeting starts finger pointing at you saying 'You have messed up, it's your risk/fault, what are you going to do about it?' then funnily enough you may not be quite as engaging and may not be quite as creative/helpful as the pointing person hopes! To neutralise this as best you can, why not try (at the same risk reduction meeting)....'We have a problem here [explain] so what do we think we can do to avoid or reduce the effects of this matter'? 
 
"Suddenly you've given yourself a chance to tease some good ideas out of those in attendance and can hopefully come up with something really good out of this and action it. Or is this a bit fluffy and the 'bloke' within many of us wants to make sure everyone knows who is the boss?! Which approach do you think is most likely to best minimise the time/cost effects of problems: A. I/you, or B. We/us?"
 
Join Rob and Barry Trebes, Projects Director, Mott MacDonald,for a free lunchtime webinar on the communications process and how to communicate correctly with examples of typical situations. 
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