What makes a business successful? Is it just profits? Or could it be that the secret to a successful and long-lived business is a company’s ability to create a harmonious workplace and a common language that allows its employees to communicate effectively and respectfully even when they disagree?
In her new book, A Glossary for the Labor Market: The Words Behind the Dialogue, labor market guru Venetia Koussia, who is also Chair of the Employment Committee of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, explores and explains key labor market terminology, focusing on management and HR, and discusses the power of dialogue, deliberation, and cooperation.
Speaking at the book’s launch event earlier this year, Koussia referred to the transition to participatory capitalism, a system which prioritizes people and the environment over profits, and stressed that “people need to talk and clash—not fight.” The book, she explained, aims to promote a better understanding of the labor market, its different aspects and what drives them, to shed light on the concepts behind key terms and the different approaches to them, and to highlight the value of dialogue and effective communication, particularly when dealing with differing opinions. When asked what drove her to write the book, Koussia’s answer was telling: “I’m interested in making people think, not necessarily agree with me.”
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful collaboration or relationship. When individuals with diverse perspectives come together, disagreements inevitably arise, so having the ability to communicate constructively in such situations is crucial to fostering understanding and finding common ground. Without this skill, disagreements and misunderstandings can easily escalate, leading to division and conflict and hindering progress. By learning how to respectfully express differing opinions and actively listen to others, we can navigate conflicts in a way that promotes growth and innovation.
Having a shared understanding of terminology, a common language if you will, helps ensure that we’re all on the same page, and this is particularly important in fields that use specialized jargon or technical terms. Perhaps we could all use a glossary when entering a new workplace, a shared baseline of terminology that can facilitate communication, enhance productivity, and promote a more cohesive, inclusive and collaborative work environment, while also helping newcomers acclimate more quickly and feel integrated into the team. So let’s agree that it’s okay to disagree, and most of all, let us learn how to communicate this effectively.