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What Did You Say? And What Did You Mean to Say?

What Did You Say? And What Did You Mean to Say?

Marion Mangold

Marion Mangold

April 20, 2018

Havas Düsseldorf Senior Strategic Planner Marion Mangold on the importance of language

"Too often we just assume we understand each other correctly since we (assume we) know the words."

LBBOnline

Marion Mangold
Senior Strategic Planner, Havas Düsseldorf

April 13, 2018

 

When I was a child, I wanted to speak seven different languages—one for each day of the week. Today, a few years older—and wiser—I no longer want to speak as many different languages as possible, but I want to speak those that I do as perfectly as possible!

Working as a strategic planner on international accounts and with colleagues from various nationalities, I’ve learned one thing: Language is a powerful tool and if you’re not able to voice your thoughts so that others can understand them correctly, you have a big problem—especially when you’re working in the communications business with people from all corners of the world.

Research from the University of California, San Diego suggests that the choice of words defines not only our understanding of a situation but also shapes our way to approach it and find potential solutions. In a series of experiments, test subjects were asked to read short paragraphs about rising crime rates in a fictional city and answer questions about the city. The researchers then assessed how people answered the questions based on whether crime was described as a beast or a virus. Seventy-one percent of the participants called for more enforcement when crime was described as a beast. When the metaphor was changed to virus, the number dropped to 54 percent.  

So the choice of words matters significantly—and as a planner we need to be especially careful with our choice of words when it comes to briefing or feedbacking the creative team to make sure we achieve the results we want. Furthermore, when it comes to multilingual workplaces, such as international agencies and accounts, the choice of words starts to matter even more.

 

Read the full article here.

"Too often we just assume we understand each other correctly since we (assume we) know the words."

LBBOnline

Marion Mangold
Senior Strategic Planner, Havas Düsseldorf

April 13, 2018

 

When I was a child, I wanted to speak seven different languages—one for each day of the week. Today, a few years older—and wiser—I no longer want to speak as many different languages as possible, but I want to speak those that I do as perfectly as possible!

Working as a strategic planner on international accounts and with colleagues from various nationalities, I’ve learned one thing: Language is a powerful tool and if you’re not able to voice your thoughts so that others can understand them correctly, you have a big problem—especially when you’re working in the communications business with people from all corners of the world.

Research from the University of California, San Diego suggests that the choice of words defines not only our understanding of a situation but also shapes our way to approach it and find potential solutions. In a series of experiments, test subjects were asked to read short paragraphs about rising crime rates in a fictional city and answer questions about the city. The researchers then assessed how people answered the questions based on whether crime was described as a beast or a virus. Seventy-one percent of the participants called for more enforcement when crime was described as a beast. When the metaphor was changed to virus, the number dropped to 54 percent.  

So the choice of words matters significantly—and as a planner we need to be especially careful with our choice of words when it comes to briefing or feedbacking the creative team to make sure we achieve the results we want. Furthermore, when it comes to multilingual workplaces, such as international agencies and accounts, the choice of words starts to matter even more.

 

Read the full article here.

A graduate of the University of Arts Berlin, further specialized in Design Thinking, Marion has worked in strategy for 7 years.

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