As our society’s empathy evolves, vocabulary and specific word choice should shift in tandem. Dale Carnegie studied great leaders and illustrated the power of connecting with people in his famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People many years ago. He understood the power of assessing the phrases and words used to avoid unintentionally alienating individuals in your audience.
Dale Carnegie of Orange County consultants and trainers work with leaders and teams to better enhance their communication skills. Our programs will help them master these principles of inclusive language in their day-to-day communication. It takes practice and patience to embrace these concepts and incorporate them into our language. But once you possess an inclusive dialect, you will gain respect from those directly impacted. While also helping influence the inclusive culture of the entire organization!
4 Rules to Using Inclusive Language
Every language is built off of rules and framework. Inclusive language is no different. Thus, these rules will help you enter conversations and hold presentations that mindfully include the individual’s or audience’s preferences.
Rule 1: Avoid Gender and Sex
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that masculine and feminine-themed words were an “unacknowledged…institutional-level mechanism of inequality maintenance.” Hence, understanding this and correcting yourself will avoid discrimination against a particular sex, social gender or gender identity.
Example: Using gender-neutral language (also referred to as ‘gender-inclusive’ language) when speaking and writing by using terms like; They, them, their, and you and dropping gender-specific words from your dialect.
Example 2: Instead of starting your presentation with “Hey guys,” which can cause some resentment. Instead, switch it out for something like “Hello everyone” or “Welcome guests.”
Rule 2: Know the Right Naming Practices
As a society, we unintentionally began to use phrases to describe groups of people without knowledge of their history or implications. Staying up to date with the right naming practices is not easy, but needs to be done. If you are ever unsure of what the right term is, it’s OK to ask the people what they prefer.
Example: Instead of grouping cultures (“Africans,” “Europeans,” or “Asians”) we recommend using the specific country they are from (Egypt, France or China… etc.)
Example 2: When mentioning people with disabilities, it is always best to say people first (people with visual impairments) instead of calling them by their disability (blind people).
Rule 3: Keep Your Language Accessible
Clichés, industry jargon, and acronyms can exclude those who may not have specialized knowledge of a particular subject and obstruct effective communication. However, many of these idioms don’t translate well and could potentially embarrass or confuse people who fail to grasp the expression. We recommend:
- Making your writing accessible with plain language that can be understood by everyone.
- Avoid all clichés, jargon, acronyms, and double negatives in your punch lines and jokes
- Keep sentences short (about 22 words or less) to have the most powerful effect
Rule 4: Include Everyone When Possible
In a management role, it’s really impactful when everyone feels like they are in this together. Using language like ‘we need to..’ as opposed to ‘you need to..’ is such a small thing but can go a long way.
Start Practicing the Art of Inclusive Language
The language used by leadership plays a powerful role in creating an environment that values diversity in the workplace. Additionally, it is crucial to train your leadership to be inclusive in their way of communicating, both on and off stage. That’s where Dale Carnegie can help. We offer a wide range of training programs to give you the skills needed to effectively communicate, present, and lead.
You’ll learn how to capture your audience’s attention through storytelling. Discover the benefit of using stories to motivate and inspire your listeners. And, because this course is interactive, you’ll demonstrate your own storytelling skills to enhance your next presentation.
Date: June 19, 2019 from 9am-11am
Investment: $0 a.k.a. FREE
See all our upcoming programs by reviewing our full schedule.