Using Everyday Language to Improve Manufacturing Floor Communications

Stuff. Things. Literally. Simply. Think back to your last conversation on the manufacturing floor. Did you use any of these words? If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance you did! But unclear words like these create confusion, contribute to miscommunications, and get in your way of coming across as a confident leader.

To help manufacturing leaders strengthen their everyday language, I invited executive speech coach Patricia Fripp onto the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast to share her insights on how we can cut through the “naughty words” and create clearer communications.

The Importance of Language

In the manufacturing world, there are dozens of conversations every day. As a leader, you might find yourself telling others how to do a task, giving feedback, or addressing concerns. In conversations like these, you might be so focused on resolving the issue that you overlook the words you use.

But as Patricia emphasizes in her podcast, words and phrasing play a huge role. If you use unclear language, it creates confusion and gets in the way of productivity, solutions, and dialogue. Language issues can also impact how others view you as a leader. If you have consistent miscommunications with your team, it can hurt their ability to see you as a confident, credible leader.

Getting Rid of Naughty Words!

According to Patricia, there are some common “naughty words” that create confusion. These include:

  • Things
  • Stuff
  • A bunch
  • Literally
  • Simply

For example, imagine you’re giving a presentation about the strengths of your manufacturing organization. If you say “in the past six months, we’ve done a bunch of great stuff,” it does nothing to show your audience what you’ve really accomplished. On the other hand, if you focus on specific examples, like improved productivity, increased profits, or a recent industry award, you’ll give a clearer—and more confident—picture of what you’re trying to say.

Focus on Clarity

Along with recognizing and eliminating “naughty words,” Patricia also shared some other tips for how manufacturing leaders can improve their everyday language. In particular, she stressed the importance of use short, concise sentences. Keep your communications to one idea per sentence. If you cram in too many thoughts at once, it can quickly get muddled. Your most important points may be lost.

Like previous podcast guest Kathy Parry, Patricia also believes in the power of the pause. In conversations, don’t be afraid to take a moment to pause. This gives you a chance to take a breath and gather your next thoughts. It also allows the other person some time to process what you’ve said.

Learn More on the Podcast

To learn more ways to improve your everyday language, check out the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast with Patricia Fripp!.

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop floor. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.