I call our family ‘The Team’. This team includes my husband, my two step-children, our dog and our cat. They are the team. We are the team.
Everybody on the team has idiosyncrasies, particularly the animals. Sometimes I make up words, mainly because it’s fun or because I can’t think of a word I really like that fits what I’m trying to say. Or I say a word in a different way so that it’s more fun. I have an arsenal of words and phrases. Ele-faunt-eh is an ‘elephant’. But I annunciate it like this, ‘Ela-faunt-eh’. And it makes my husband smile, every time.
That word is now part of our language; it’s a way to communicate privately in the open. Everyone has private jokes, but private or not, it’s a ‘thing’ that has helped our blended family and new marriage unite. Ela-faunt-eh is just one of my words that is now ‘our’ words. It bonds us in a ton of ways and I have to tell you, has made us stronger because it knits us together positively and it makes us smile and sometimes laugh. The ‘words’ or catch phrases like ‘Negatory Batman’ or ‘That’s Right’ which you can only appreciate if you hear the tone its intended with, we can communicate over any medium because we are a team and because we know the intent. It makes us one. And therein lies the gold…the intent. It is the success behind our language.
If you think about it words and phrases also knit businesses and even countries together. A fanny pack in North American is pretty different that a fanny in Australia. The language you have in your team will be a defining factor in your culture. If you want people to be a part of it, then create it, words and phrases and all. You don’t have to force it, just watch for it and capitalize on it when you see it. There are always things to discuss, argue about or dismiss when you are on a team. By choosing to offset the inevitable conflict with unique and knitting language you will reduce stress, infuse laughter and I guarantee create a stronger team.