Language is used for so much more than conveying information – we use it to tell people about who we are and where we come from. Most of us, however, are more concerned about the specifics of the conversation at hand than we are about any of those other details. We typically send these additional messages unconsciously, without any thought to what they might mean to the other person or if they are even information we intend or want to convey.
Tapping into this well of additional knowledge can be a huge advantage. It can help you be more precise with your language and more thoughtful in your interactions. It can make you a better listener and a more empathetic communicator. This session will apply theories of sociolinguistics to help attendees decode the underlying layers of communication and learn some patterns and tactics for utilizing them in daily interactions.
Attendees should expect lively conversation with the presenter and the large group, with several small group activities included throughout the session. To benefit the most from the session, attendees are encouraged to consider the following questions and think of some examples of the following from their own life. (Sharing is not a requirement, but having an example to consider while you are listening will be valuable!)
- Have you ever had a conversation that really confused you? (Think of situations where you weren’t sure you and the other person were talking about the same thing, speaking the same language, or on the same page.)
- Is there anyone you interact with who you regularly struggle to connect with? (Someone who has a different style perhaps, or who just “rubs you the wrong way?”)
- Do you have any examples of these types of communication that you can share with the group? (Either a description of the in-person communication, an email, a text, or some other form of language that you can present to the group.)
- Is there a particular medium of communication which you especially prefer or especially dislike using?
Follow-Up Coaching & Conversation via Slack
Take what you learned out of the session and into “the wild!” Figuring out how to apply the information from a session is always the biggest challenge, no matter the content. All attendees are invited to join the conversation via Slack after the event and talk with each other and Kate about their progress. Conversation will be open and impromptu after the session, with one formal discussion opportunity on Thursday, December 13 capping off the conversation. All are encouraged to participate!
About the Presenter:
Kate Lucey is a sociolinguist who studies the underlying messages we communicate through our language choices. At Client Savvy, she helps firms and individuals use language to create better experiences for their clients, communicate more effectively, increase their bottom line, and build deeper relationships. Previously Kate was the Assistant Director of Membership at the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). She enjoys serving as a translator and connector between the science and engineering and the rest of the world, helping others to understand the magnitude and importance of the work engineers do, and the impact it has on all our lives. Kate holds a Bachelor’s in Linguistics from Boston College and a Master’s in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University. She lives in Washington, DC.
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