Grow, develop, change …what’s in a word?

For a while now I have been testing the word “grow” as an alternative to “change”.  I know I have an aversion to being asked to “change” and even the phrase “I want to change the behaviour of my people” indicates that change is forced choice.

Contrast this with the phrase “I want to grow the behaviour of my people” and there seem to be many more choices available.

I will be exploring this with managers over the next few weeks and will be interested in their and your feedback.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Matt Moore

    “I want to grow the behaviour of my people” – doesn’t this imply that the behaviours of your people are corn – or possibly heffers?

    I think the formulation “I want my people” implies some form of control. It certainly positions the speaker as outside the system they are trying to impact.

    What’s missing is the second half of the dialectic – “I want to change my people – and be changed by them”, “I want to grow my people – and be grown by them”.

  2. Sharon McGann

    Good points Matt. Probably a comment “I want to encourage myself and my people to grow” would give the choice you are requesting

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