Shared language: Towards more effective communication

Joyce K Thomas, Deana McDonagh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The ability to communicate to others and express ourselves is a basic human need. As we develop our understanding of the world, based on our upbringing, education and so on, our perspective and the way we communicate can differ from those around us. Engaging and interacting with others is a critical part of healthy living. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they are understood in the way they intended. Shared language refers to people developing understanding amongst themselves based on language (e.g. spoken, text) to help them communicate more effectively. The key to understanding language is to first notice and be mindful of your language. Developing a shared language is an ongoing process that requires intention and time, which results in better understanding. Shared language is critical to collaboration, and collaboration is critical to business and education. With whom and how many people do you connect? Your 'shared language' makes a difference in the world. So, how do we successfully do this? This paper shares several strategies. Your sphere of influence will carry forward what and how you are communicating. Developing and nurturing a shared language is an essential element to enhance communication and collaboration whether it is simply between partners or across the larger community of business and customers. Constant awareness and education is required to maintain the shared language. We are living in an increasingly smaller global community. Business is built on relationships. If you invest in developing shared language, your relationships and your business will thrive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Medical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Design coaching
  • Empathy
  • Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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