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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pain or pleasure?

 
I love observing patterns in language - as you will have discovered from my previous blogs.
 
I'd like to share one such pattern I observed in one organisation because it might just help you notice your own organisational culture and therefore help you improve your influencing.
 
The reason for the lull in blogs in December was I was involved in delivering category and supplier management workshops for Future Purchasing * in 3 countries over 3 weeks. It involved spending 12 days with the pharmaceutical client delivering the training to over 70 procurement team members.

What I noticed was the frequency that people used "Pain" to describe or define their objectives.
  • Find the pain points for the stakeholder
  • What's the pain
  • Help them avoid the pain
  • Feel their pain
Of course I've heard it used before but not with such frequency.

Step back a minute and of course it should come as no surprise that a company that's aim is to alleviate pain should find alleviating pain coursing into every aspect of what it does.

The benefit of understanding this potential pattern is to then use it when selling ideas within the organisation. Perhaps use of 'health' might motivate their stakeholders to listen to them, however I certainly recommended they use 'pain' more in their language and to notice the impact doing this had.

I then wondered how this might be represented in other industries:
  • Transport - destinations and on time or to schedule 
  • Financial services - investment and security ?!?
  • Education - learning and results 
  • Retail - meeting needs 
What words do you hear a lot at work and do they reflect the end product in anyway. Do let me know as I'd love to explore this further. 

Alison Smith
Inspiring Change inside and out - when what you're doing isn't working

* I'm an associate of Future Purchasing - so for more on the category and supplier management work I do with them please visit the website.

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