attribution: waferboard’s photostream

We often talk in this blog about the importance of a deictic shift – about what a difference it can make to a listener to hear a “you” pronoun (rather than an “I”), how that can have the effect of pulling one into the conversation.

The contexts that come immediately to mind are beginning to answer “Tell Me About Yourself” in a job interview (your interviewer likely won’t why, but something drew them in), or in a cover letter – the difference between language that is “I” focused (I am looking for an opportunity to practice my French) vs. “you” (my abilities in French will support your organization’s need recent expansion into the Francophone Canada market).

But despite my awareness of the deictic shift and how powerful it can be, I have to confess that I truly felt pulled in this week when I read Twitter’s recent job ad for a market researcher:,Job

You are a master storyteller and believe data is more inspiring when it connects back to the lives of real people. You have a strong, working understanding of a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. You know exactly when to engage with teams across Design, Product, Engineering, and Marketing, what questions to ask, where to probe, and how to implement the most effective research strategies. You thrive in a fast-paced environment and enjoy setting and prioritizing research goals, managing load and expectations. You’re passionate about Twitter and believe great experiences are always inspired by a deep understanding of markets and users.

I happen to fancy myself a master storyteller (and many people must do I suspect), but yes, I really DO believe that data is (are) more inspiring when it connects back to the life of real people!  So inspiring to hear Twitter articulate their linguistic awareness in this way.  It makes me feel like they have taken time to think about me and to be aware of the language that they use to connect with me.  More job ads should read like this! I’m looking at you LinkedIn!  🙂


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