One of the signs of a great relationship – or at least a long one – is the amount of information that can be transferred in just a few words. If I were to spend time with a specific pair of high school friends, I could simply say “Remember that time you yanked Patrick off the wall he was trying to do a handstand on – in his skates?” That would launch us into hours of laughing and talking and vivid memories. Even the non-verbal communication between longtime friends and partners is quite amazing. Do you have someone in your life that can convey a whole lot of meaning in just a single facial expression?
There is also a tendency to create a secret language in order to forge a bond between people. Clubs and exclusive organizations have a rich history of secret handshakes, recitations and code words. The meanings behind these words and gestures is much greater to those who practice them than to the outsider. Did you ever create a secret club with its own language, handshakes or passwords when you were a child? Do you belong to such a club now as an adult? Many of us do – from Freemasonry to religious organizations to Boy Scouts – much is communicated through “secret club” language.
This kind of instant communication cuts through the barriers of time and space. It’s almost magical.
You have the same opportunities of transcending time and space in your organization. Given the right blend of culture, dedicated work, education and practice, you have the ability to attach great meaning to simple words and phrases in your organization. Doing this will set you apart from your competition and increase both productivity and revenue.
Your Organization’s Sweet Spot
The sweet spot you are after is when your organizational culture meets a practical aspect of your operations and the result is verifiable growth. This is a powerful situation and where the true magic of your organization happens. One of the most powerful places to attain this merging of growth and culture is in the successful implementation of your “secret club” language.
Creating positive changes in organizational culture is an extremely difficult task which must start from the top of the organization and move its way down. The only culture which starts from the bottom and moves its way up is negative culture! We won’t focus on building culture in this article. Instead we’ll focus on just the element of creating your own “secret club” language.
I’ll Let You In on One of My Company’s Secrets
Stick around us for any length of time at all and you’ll hear us say “I’m S1 [or S2, or S3, or S4] on that.” These are four extremely powerful words that carry a great deal of meaning to us. We’ve put significant effort into making this a part of our company’s “secret club” language.
Wondering what S1 / S2 / S3 / S4 means to us? It has everything to do with delegating tasks.
Cure Delegation Problems
Delegation is a huge concept in achieving increased productivity and can make or break our best efforts to get more done. Our company’s solution to solving the problem of incompetency in delegated tasks was to adopt an idea created in the ‘60s by Dr. Paul Hersey. He created what he called the Situational Leadership® model. Basically, he said that we all perform any task in one of four quadrants. These quadrants are laid out in such a way that as you become more familiar with a task and eventually master the task, you move from quadrant S1 to S2 to S3 and finally to quadrant S4. The Situational Leadership model makes it extremely clear what is required for success by the person delegating the task.
When a task is delegated to me, I have a critical and powerful tool which I can use to quickly tell the person who gave me the task exactly what my competencies with the task are. This communication method and corresponding training give us both a way to ensure success with the task regardless of my competency level. This is truly where organizational culture and verifiable growth meet.
Work to Create Your Own “Secret Club” Language
Any training material which is applicable to your organization can be weaved into your organizational culture if you take the time to do it. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that information will easily be assimilated into your workflows.
Adopting a “secret club” language that actually works requires a great amount of work upfront. The leadership team in an organization must first understand how important the new terminology is to the growth of the organization, then fully adopt it and finally practice the terminology themselves. It is critical that new terminology be introduced by leadership for it to actually become part of the organizational culture.
The very best and profitable organizational training is that which becomes part of your culture. This kind of training is a critical element in all organizations. You need to ensure that your “secret club” language is well documented and included in all new-hire orientations and training material. When all managers and all employees use your “secret club” language frequently, you will find that your productivity, revenues and overall quality of work will increase.
Do you have any phrases or “secret club” language you’d like to share?
Need some help identifying and creating your organization’s “secret club” language? We’re here to help share our recipes for success with you! Just reach out!