Are You Using Limiting Language In Your Business? What We Learned From Changing Ours

Written by Laura Roeder

On November 11, 2021

Language is full of synonyms that can make choosing the right words hard – and your choice of vocabulary often has unintended consequences for your productivity, mindset, and growth.

It can be easy to grow complacent in the way we speak about things and use limiting language to express what we want to convey.

Here at Meet Edgar, some of our company vocabulary has limited how we think about what our departments and teams actually do, both for our users and for each other. And if there’s anything Twitter has taught us, it’s that word choice is very important!

How to Stop Using Limiting Language

One example of limiting language we’ve noticed is how we refer to our Quality Assurance team.

When you hear the terms Quality Assurance or Quality Control, what do you immediately think of?

For me, it conjures up visions of factory assembly lines, where the last person in line is there to make sure the product works as intended.

They don’t necessarily have concrete input in the manufacturing process. They make sure the product is safe, functional, and complete.

That’s how our QA team started out, and in fact, is still one of its very important functions! We make sure anything and everything related to MeetEdgar works right and integrates seamlessly with our brand – and we do that in a fairly unique way.

But even with our innovations in how we choose to handle QA, the term “QA” has begun to limit the way we think about the potential contributions of that team.

 

As we’ve evolved, the QA team no longer just checks things. We offer user insights, consult with our designer and developers on usability and human factors, provide information to our marketing team on user trends, keep our customers up to date on what’s happening at Edgar through our help docs and messaging, and more.

And that doesn’t quite feel like QA to us anymore.

While a necessary component, QA is a very specific field, and we want to grow beyond that field and provide better support to the rest of Team Edgar and to our customers.

That’s why we’re shifting our mindset by scrapping the limiting words, upgrading our vocabulary, and renaming our QA team our Usability team.

We’re expanding our focus to be more deliberate about ensuring our app is highly usable, conducting user research and testing, and providing this information to the rest of the company in the right format.

Iterating and improving how we accomplish these things is an ongoing challenge, but even something as simple as changing the name of this team – a name that’s been the same for nearly three years now – has galvanized its members into generating new ideas.

As both professionals and members of Team Edgar, we feel energized and ready to grow into our new name, rather than being held back by an outdated vocabulary.

How Does Your Company Limit Its Ideas With Language?

When you’ve always done something a certain way, even a simple change can affect a massive shift. Language matters – and changing your vocabulary can change your whole mindset.

What vocabulary in your business do you think might be holding you back, and how can you upgrade it to move your success forward?

Have you tried?

Share your story in the comments below!

You May Also Like…

Tips to Give Your Mobile Audience the Attention It Deserves

Tips to Give Your Mobile Audience the Attention It Deserves

How big is your mobile audience? (Do you know?) It's okay if you don't! It's not something most of us actually think about that often, to be honest. And that's exactly why it's so important that you think about it NOW. Because on the one hand, mobile browsing isn't...

Here’s How MailChimp A/B Testing is Possible on Automated Campaigns

Here’s How MailChimp A/B Testing is Possible on Automated Campaigns

This post was originally published in 2016 as part of the Edgar Learn series, where we shared the strategies that helped us find success. Although a lot has changed since then, it seems this MailChimp hack for A/B testing we discovered back in 2016 can still work...