"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." -- Edgar Degas
I started this yesterday while my kid was at ninja training, because the other dads there were on their phone spouting buzzwords and it bothered me that they thought they were real words with actual meaning. One of them kept telling someone, unironically, that they were empowering them.
Empowering is really about helping people control their life; it's not about letting people figure out how to do work (that's an 'assignment'), which is how its so often used. And while we all know what a brainstorm is, think about what a storm actually is: up here, storms destroy, leave wreckage and make the power turn off (come to think of it, so do a lot of brainstorms). So I made up a new word for when we're all writing on a whiteboard together - empowerstorm - and drew what it looks like to me:
What matters, whether I'm drawing or you're working, though, is what your work looks like to others, not the made-up words you use to tell them you're supporting them when you're telling them to do work.
Originally published March 9 on LinkedIn, edited slightly here.