Good Habits #7: Speak Properly

By | July 25, 2014

[July 25, 2014] A small group of friends and I had our first taste of college life after graduating from high school. We were all engineer majors and figured that since we knew nothing about their trigonometry courses we would take one our first summer. The teacher was smart and dedicated but his accent made us struggle to understand some of the concepts. At the end of the third class, I finally got up the nerve to ask him about a certain word because none of us understood it. The word was “perpendicular” and critical to passing the course. Of course, to speak properly is an important task of senior leaders to ensure clear communication.

Senior LeadershipYes, to speak properly means to correctly pronounce words in the language that is used. So, when leaders work where another language is spoken, then they must do their best to understand the needs of the audience. Not surprisingly, there are distracters in the use of any language that if eliminated, would make understanding easier. Distracters are things like cussing, slang, use of acronyms, tone and volume of voice, accents, and inaccurate use of words. Much of this can be controlled with some effort.

The suggestion that cussing, slang, acronyms, etc. are not to be used by a senior leader does not mean that they are bad or discouraged. A senior leader however must be understood by all people, not a subset or select group. Leaders, for example, who get into the habit of using slang, will use the slang around those who do not understand it. It is therefore a good habit to not use it or use it only selectively. Good speaking habits are not easily developed and leaders must be aware of anything that obstructs their communication skills.

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Good Habits #1: Never Assume Anything:

Good Habits #2: Walk Around and Talk with People:

Good Habits #3: Read Mission-Related Material:

Good Habits #4: Take the Initiative:

Good Habits #5: Effective Use of Time:

Good Habits #6: Show the Human Side:


Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

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