Language creates reality: the facets of language in teams

Kristina Püschel
May 12, 2024

Language is more than just a means of communication; it shapes our perception of the world and influences how we interact with others. In teams, the way we speak can have a profound impact on the working atmosphere, collaboration and ultimately performance. By consciously using language, teams can improve their dynamics and work together more effectively.

Theoretical foundations and facets of language

Linguistics shows that our language is deeply rooted in cultural, social and psychological structures. Concepts such as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis emphasize that language shapes thought. In a team context, this means that the words we choose and the way we communicate can influence collective behavior and shared goals.

Language and corporate culture

The language used within a team can create or reduce psychological distance. The use of the "you" form, for example, can express respect, but also promotes a certain distance between team members. This can be useful in hierarchical company structures, but can be a hindrance in teams that value close collaboration. Another important topic is gendering in language. By using gender-neutral or gender-appropriate language, teams can promote diversity and inclusion by creating an environment that speaks to and values all members.

Communication techniques for more effective teams

Effective communication techniques are crucial to the success of a team. This includes active listening, where speakers feel taken seriously and understood. Clear, precise and respectful communication helps to avoid misunderstandings and promotes a positive working atmosphere. Teams should also regularly reflect on and adapt their communication patterns to ensure that they meet the needs of all team members.

How can the topic of language in a team be made measurable?

Measuring the impact of language in a team can be challenging, but there are methods, such as regular feedback sessions, in which members evaluate the effectiveness of communication. Furthermore, surveys or tools to analyze communication patterns can be used to understand how language influences team dynamics. Such analyses help to identify areas where communication could be improved.


Language not only shapes our reality, it is also a key element in building and maintaining team dynamics. A conscious use of language can lead to improved team performance, more innovation and a stronger bond between team members. Teams that actively work on their linguistic communication lay the foundation for sustainable and successful collaboration. By recognizing the power of language and using it purposefully, we can positively shape and develop the reality of our teams.

Kristina Püschel
December 19, 2023