Monday, June 8, 2009

You can't change what you don't acknowlege

In September of 2007 I wrote a blog post called “Call it what it is” about euphemisms.

The latest word game is the use of “laid off” for fired. Traditionally you are laid off only when the company really intends to bring you back to work in a few weeks.

During the annual model changeover shut downs at the automakers, the workers are laid off for a couple of weeks while the factories are retooled for the next year’s models. The company and the workers both understand that all the workers will be called back once the changeover is completed.

Does anyone really expect the workers now loosing their jobs will be rehired within a few months? Six months? Next year? If recalling those workers is not part of your business plan, they are not laid off - they’re fired!

It’s not just the intellectual honesty of calling it by its right name, it’s just as Dr. Phil McGraw said, “You can't change what you don't acknowledge”. If you use the wrong labels, you acknowledge the wrong things, then you and the people around you waste time trying to fix the things you labeled, not what’s really wrong.

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