Code Words Create Action

When we intentionally employ a different lexicon, it sparks change.  A small pub in Acworth, Georgia called Red Top Brewhouse choosing to lead the way in curbing sexual harassment by creating clear code words for any guest could use if they feel they are in an uncomfortable situation.  The message is posted inside all the restrooms and provides instructions for what to do.  While rarely used, these are meaningful words that empower change.

When a server or team member hears the phrase, they take action to keep the guest safe. This simple process provides safety to their guests and has changed the overall atmosphere of the brewhouse.

Other bars across the country are also employing secret safety lexicon – some creating a “bar menu” with code words that helps a guest  in fear share their concerns easily. Many call them “Angel Shots”

Angel Shot Neat – means the bartender will arrange for the guest to be escorted safely to their car.

Angel Shot With Ice – signals the bartender to arrange a ride for the guest.

Angel Shot With Lime – instructs the bartender to call the police.  

What lexicon, words or phrases might we need to create, design anew, or even leave behind to empower change and action in our organization?