'The Language of Leadership' with Joel Schwartzberg

How small tweaks to your language can make a big difference in your influence.

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
Episode #842

In this interview, I talked with Joel Schwartzberg about his book The Language of Leadership. We discussed:

  • How to write better thank-you emails.
  • What people get wrong about empathy.
  • Why even leaders should use simple language.
  • Why "hope" makes a better noun than verb.
  • When you should and shouldn't use the pronoun "I."
  • And more.

You can listen to the interview using the player at the top of this page, or you can read a complete rough transcript.


Joel Schwartzberg is a leadership communications coach whose clients include American Express, Blue Cross Blue Shield, State Farm Insurance, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Comedy Central. He is the senior director of strategic and executive communications for a major national nonprofit and previously held senior-level communication and editorial positions with Time Inc., PBS, and Nickelodeon. Schwartzberg’s articles on effective communication have appeared in "Fast Company," "Harvard Business Review," and "Toastmaster" magazine, and he’s a sought-after business and communications podcast guest and conference speaker. He is the author of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matterwhich Seth Godin calls “a manifesto for giving talks that make a difference,” and The Language of Leadership: How to Engage and Inspire Your Team, which Kevin Eikenberry says “will make your communication more purposeful, meaningful, and inspirational.” Learn more at joelschwartzberg.net.


About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.