The Language of Advocacy
Words that Work
When you are advocating for someone it is important to use emotive language in a way that connects the person’s story to the authority who is able to make a difference or the perpetrator who has done wrong. Diminishing the dignity or minimising the life experience of an innocent person is wrong.
Advocating is an important part of social contribution in today’s diverse world where inclusivity is important and invalidation of people because of a certain label is now rightfully unacceptable.
Standing in the shade and turning a blind eye is becoming less ‘a way’ in favour of standing in the light and speaking up for those who have been served an injustice.
Whether you are advocating for the rights of your elderly neighbour who has been scammed or you are on the court room floor representing a client, the language of advocacy is crucial in making a difference.
The Power of Emotive language
We are intrinsically connected in our humanity more than we are different. When we connect through that commonality of humanity we are able to make our point without creating further conflict or dissonance.
Look at the difference:
“A man in the bar was injured by another man’s glass”
“An innocent bystander suffered traumatising facial injuries at the hand of a man, who, lacking in hurtled his glass across the bar in an act of unprovoked, uncontrolled and selfish enragement.”
This might be High School English class and I agree that it is however are you using it? Are you using it effectively? Do you feel that you can advocate effectively?
- Use descriptive language that connects our humanity
- Illuminate the suffering of the victim
- Put the listener in the situation of the victim.