Leading and Caring for Children

Guides for Enterprise Talk

A Handrail to Authenticity and Integrity

Below is a brief summary of the guides for Enterprise Talk. A full article linked on the left explains the background for these reminders. I promise that if you do this work, your life changes forever, and if you are raising your own children talking this way, they will naturally talk this way to their children. They won’t have to  rely on power and authority, because their first thought will occur in a space of connection with others, so the benefits pass down through generations. The goal is to simply communicate authentically as one person relating to another person on equal terms and act with integrity as a person who acts in accord with evolving beliefs. Who could ask for more?

So, I invite you to consider stopping what seems natural and reconsidering what you are doing. You wouldn’t have hit this page if you were not looking for something different. So here is Enterprise Talk as a consideration.

These three caveats are the foundation of Enterprise Talk. I invite you to glance through them.

NoThree Prohibitions

No directionsNo questionsNo praise

To be replaced with these new practices, which do take a bit of time to invent on-the-spot. Habits like these cue one to pause before speaking.

Six Ggo-iconuides


Conveying in language what the child can perceive presently—what the child is now seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, and smelling. This is about input to the child — what the child takes in.


Putting the child’s actions in words as the child is doing it—like a sports announcer delivering play-by-play coverage of events as they occur. This is about the child’s output — what the child does.

Subjective Talk

Talking about your own actions and thoughts that relate to the child’s current situation. Most self-talk statements begin with “I…”

Non-verbal Recognition

Communicating that you notice valued behavior by facial expressions and body language; reacting especially when children take positive initiative, when they act courteously and cooperatively with each other, and when they persevere at difficulties.

Intrinsically-phrased Recognition

Highlighting naturally occurring feelings of self-worth and self-satisfaction that accompany competent and socially constructive behavior. One way to do this is to employ these four concept clusters in a comment that highlights the internal states of consciousness that may be present.

  • Enjoyment “It’s fun to do, isn’t it?”
    pleasure ~ delight ~ happiness ~ thrill ~ joy ~ amusement ~ gratification ~ good feelings ~ savor that feeling ~ pride ~ satisfaction
  • Competence “You did it!”
    success ~ mastery ~ have the know-how ~ expertise ~ accomplishment
    achievement ~ attainment ~ have the skill ~ a talent ~ knack
  • Cleverness “That’s tricky.”
    a new idea ~ unique ~ brainy ~ smart ~ intelligent ~ bright
    ~ witty ~ sharp ~ ingenious ~ quick ~ original
  • Growth and Change “You’re sure getting bigger!”
    readiness for new challenges ~ being older ~ in a new place ~ more grown-up ~ more independent ~ more self-confident

Descriptive Cue Sequence

  1. Signal: Giving a cue “It’s time to ___”, or ring a bell, or flash lights. Waiting 10 to 15 seconds, recognizing desirable actions by describing, narrating or employing non-verbal recognition. If not working, proceeding on to:
  2. Description: Describing what needs doing or where things are or go. In most cases this works, if given time and continuing recognition of what you value. “Four are in the box.” If not, proceeding on to:
  3. Modeling: You do the actions you desire while describing your own thoughts and decisions aloud. This step is most used when the desired action is unfamiliar.
  4. Direction: If, after a time, a child fails to voluntarily join the efforts, issuing a clear direction.
  5. Draw a Line: Specifying what must be complete before continuing; restricting participation in the next activity to those who have completed the desired actions.

I post this to offer an opportunity. A challenge. A reconsideration deposited at your doorstep.

Click for a one-page handout of these Guides for Enterprise Talk or proceed on to my multi-page full explanation.

Next Enterprise Talk: a handrail