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Reframing Thoughts

Yada Yada, Board, Insignificance

A Barbarian Leader?
Blah, blah, blah!

The word, barbarian, comes from the Greek language and was originally used by the Greek people to describe all foreigners who didn't speak their language. Scholars believe its "bar, bar" origin sound (bárbaros) was how the Greek thought all other languages sounded. It isn't too far off from our more contemporary sounding, "blah, blah, blah", right? In current times, "blah, blah, blah" doesn't represent languages we don't know as much as an assumption that the information it replaces isn't worth explaining. Some people jump in with a little "yada yada yada" to convey similar feelings. We say it when we think the information being conveyed isn't necessary, or the amount of detail is too much and not worth repeating.

It's like shorthand for something we decide is unimportant. Don't forget though - one person's clarity is another person's blah, blah, blah! Some people have a personality that favors getting to the point. If you work with that person, you've probably felt dismissed at times, maybe cut off, or limited in your expression. Maybe you felt they blah, blah, blah'd you? And if you work with someone who has a personality that favors details, you might have felt your time was wasted if communication went beyond what you needed, and maybe you silently blah, blah, blah'd them?

"The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through."
~ Sydney Harris


If we go back to the Greek, they just imagined that anyone who wasn't like them couldn't be saying anything in a foreign language worth hearing. They had no desire to try to understand or value other people. Within the Greek culture, the discrimination started with language. Over the years, we've managed to go way beyond language and find nearly every kind of difference upon which to judge, dismiss and blah, blah, blah each other.

Leaders impact the culture of their teams by how they show their own ability to respect, promote and acknowledge interpersonal communication in the organization. A Barbarian leader believes they already know everything they need to know, so they slip into blah, blah, blah listening styles that fail to hear and value people. It's never too late for improvement, and it's powerful when leaders lead by example.

“One is too small a number to achieve greatness. No accomplishment of real value has ever been achieved by a human being working alone.”
~ John C. Maxwell

The Work of Leaders by Straw, Sullard, Kukkonen, & Davis mentions that "the best communication should be crisp, providing enough information, but not too much - well structured and efficient." It's a challenge and an investment to give and take the time required to build trusted relationships in the most constructive ways. Crisp communication takes effort, practice, and compromise to reap the wide range of personal and professional benefits that come from highly effective teamwork. 

Trudy Menke - Reframing Leadership 

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Trudy Menke-Reframing Leadership · 55873 Great Blue Heron Ct · New Carlisle, IN 46552 · USA

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