This is my “Colleague”

Fuzion gang

At what point did we end up being work “colleagues“?

I must admit that it never sits well with me when I hear the word “colleague” being used during introductions of co-workers at meetings or functions.

Is it just me or am I the only one who thinks it is the worst, dispassionate, unfeeling way to introduce someone you work with?

When I the hear the words being used I automatically think that we just “work together” and that’s about as far as any bond goes – maybe I am over analysing it but I feel it lacks emotion, depth and personally it leaves me cold.

In some organisations maybe that is the reality (I’ve worked in places like that!) but at best the “introduction” words used should convey something positive that reflects the spirit of the organisation.

So … What is the right language to describe someone you work with?

Fuzion team
“I hate my job!”

The one that works best for me when I really think about it is the description “team-mate” – after all, we are on the same team, fighting for the same cause, we don’t have to particularly like each other (it obviously helps that you do like and respect who you work with) but we do wear the same jersey and the word does have a strong positive association to it.

It still feels strange to use the description as it seems to be reserved for a sporting context but even on websites and on credentials documents we often see the words “our team” being used and you see people say things like “our dedicated team will look after you” ..

… we don’t normally see a section describing the personnel as “colleagues“, but I guess you will often see in emails “one of my colleagues will contact you” … awful, maybe I am wrong?

If you use the right words it can be a powerful way in describing what kind of organisation you are.

Is it just me? .. how do you describe the people you work with?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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