Choosing Words Wisely by Starla West, Founder & President –

Choosing Words Wisely: How It Can Bite You in the

Derrière When You Don’t

by: By: Starla West, Founder & President

As many of you know, Forever 21 came under fire in the media after a leaked memo shared the retailer’s plans to reclassify some full-time employees’ jobs to part-time status, cutting their benefits and limiting their hours.

There are plenty of individuals discussing whether this decision is right or wrong and/or good or bad so we’ll leave that to them to hash out. I, instead, prefer to address how the decision was delivered to employees.

I am simply stunned that large organizations like Forever 21 continue to ignore the fact that words are powerful. When we choose them wisely, we are much more influential in our environment. As a result, it is easier to:

        make connections,
        close deals, and
        leave positive impressions.

But when we mishandle our words and the tone in which we present them, we run the risk of:

        offending clients,
        lowering employee morale, and
        creating an undesirable image.

THAT is exactly what happened to Forever 21 with this poorly written communication piece. Very clearly, the author wrote it from the company’s perspective without any regard as to how it would be received by its employees…and ultimately the media.

When bad news has to be delivered it is always best to get right to the point, explain the decision, and address the questions lingering in the recipient’s mind.

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