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Service Stands Out When Language Matches The Intention

Dave Evans, Chief Leadership Officer at Real Leadership Coaching

February 8, 2019

Language is one of the simplest secrets of great business today and yet it is often forgotten about.  How many people, do you know, go on courses or continuous learning and then straight afterwards forget the way they speak or respond.  Many years ago I remember a story told by John Maxwell about a lady who had been at church on a Sunday and had a wonderful church service, was full of the joy of the Sunday service, went to the supermarket and then had a complete loss of control over a car park space.  In this example the language would have most likely not helped.

FACT: Our language either directly supports us in conversations with people or gets in our way. In service it either adds to the experience or dilutes it un-intentionally.

We live in a world where service is measured by how we experience it, put simply – how we feel.  Yet we can forget this.  For many of us who are custodians of service and believe in the idea of great service is important to your brand and your business, one of the simplest and most effective things to improve is our language.  The gauntlet here is to make sure that the service we deliver stands out by matching the intention of that service with great language.  Simply put, thinking about what you’re saying and how you are saying it.

Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not and act, but a habit.”
In terms of service what does this mean?
Placing a high level of importance on language will transform your service in your business.  Make language something you repeatedly do, your service and therefore a habit and see what happens.

EG: If you only have one item of stock left that someone wants take the time to say ‘you’re in luck I have found one for you’ or if someone asks you to move quickly with a service or task, highlight you are moving quicker than usual – acknowledging their request.

Challenge your language today

  1. We need to understand the impact our words have on us and others – what words do you use that do not promote great feelings?
  2. Do you manage your self-talk well? What words are you using when you speak to yourself?
    a.  You are the best self-coach to yourself when under pressure – choose great words
  3. What do you notice is the reaction to others on the language you use?
    a.  Are they inspired or do you suck all their energy away?
  4. Be a leader with the right words, tones and energy to set the example you want others to follow

Your Words Checklist

  1. What words are you focussed on today?
  2. What words are you eliminating?
  3. Coach one person a focus word for the day?
  4. Catch someone doing it right
  5. Look for great examples in your world and learn from them


  • Join us at RLC for our future podcasts about all areas of business
  • Read this short set of great service stories there are 10 of them!
  • Watch this short video about the power of language and see what you can learn

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