One thing I love about my job is that I talk to a bunch of different people. I get to talk to the diverse groups that come to our church, and I get to have meaningful conversations with people from other organizations as well. I have a really good memory, and tend to notice a few things. One thing I always notice is if a person refers to their organization as we or as they. The language we use is very important, and it can serve as a thermometer of where someone is at with their organization.
When I am talking to people that work with or are a part of another organization and they mention their organization as ‘they’, I typically will internally question how on board they are with that organization. I wonder why if they are a contributor to the mission of their organization why they wouldn’t take ownership and call it a we. I always refer to LIFEchurch as we when I am talking to someone. I am not the leader of the organization or the CEO or anything like that, but we work together and I put my all into it. I take ownership in the decisions of our organization.
The same goes for when I have conversations with people from inside my church. When they talk about it as you guys, or use they instead of saying we, I tend to assume they aren’t all in yet. I know this is a big assumption, and it could really mean lots of things, but that’s the story I tend to gather. And it could mean they aren’t ready to say we, and I totally get that.
Think about this sort of language. Are you a we person? Or a they person? If I am way off base for these assumptions, let’s chat about it.