Richard Farson (1926 – ) is American psychologist, author, and educator. He cofounded the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects and as a Senior Fellow on the Design Futures Council. Mr. Farson has had a lifelong interest in design and his 2008 book, The Power of Design, is one of my favorites.

When I work with leaders on sensitive matters, this particular quote always comes to mind:

It’s almost impossible to damage an individual permanently, but it takes very little to destroy a relationship or an organization. The implication, therefore, is that we must take special care to guard against the possibility that messages might become missiles, creating wreckage of the delicate network of relationships that make up any organization.

— Richard Farson, The Power of Design

I tell my clients to be careful with the words they use.

They carry power and meaning.

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