This shooting of Arizona’s Representative Giffords disturbs me.  It appears that this assassination attempt was/is a mental health issue of the accused, not some conspiracy that people are blaming each other for. 

But I’m still disturbed.  

Here’s what I’m going to do about it personally, and I want you to hold me accountable for it. 

I resolve to abstain from using militaristic language and imagery in my language except when the discussion is about our military or hunting.  I’m going to have to find a new vocabulary when coaching, teaching, and consulting with my clients.  Competitors will no longer be the “enemy.”  Customers will no longer be “targeted.”  I won’t be advising clients to “scope” things out or make sure you “have your target in the cross hairs.”  I won’t ask clients to get in the “trenches” or “blow up” a department or process. 

I hope you get the picture.  I could go on endlessly with examples, couldn’t I.

I will still want my clients to beat their competitors, to segment and profile their customers to serve them better, to be focused in their efforts, to walk a mile in their employees shoes, and to rebuild from scratch in rebuilding a department.  I want them to succeed.  I’m just going to have to find better ways to explain things and converse with them. 

This is going to be hard.  We are so dependent on military and violent language and imagery in our communications.  War is war. Politics and business and most everything else in our lives isn’t.

But I’m beginning to think our acceptance of this type of language and imagery, in some way allows us to accept this behavior or helps inflame things.  I don’t want to be a part of that anymore. 

I resolve to be better and above this.