Language, Moods, and Improving Project Performance

David Long1 & Paz Arroyo2

1Principal, David Long Consulting CA, USA,
2Adjunct Assistant Professor, Universidad Católica de Chile and Senior Coach, LeanProject Consulting CA, USA,


Compared to other industries, the construction sector has lagged in improving productivity. Effective performance, of which productivity is an indicator, is facilitated by conversation that clearly identifies necessary steps to achieve common goals. The type of language used in productive conversation can be referred to as the language of action; similarly, the term “linguistic action” denotes a domain of effective speech to facilitate action. However, even when linguistic action is employed, teams may struggle to communicate effectively when the speech or moods of individuals, or the environments in which they are operating, are not conducive to either productive action or dialogue. This paper proposes direct relationships between linguistic action, positive moods and team performance. It observes that the ability to recognize and influence moods suggests that team performance can be improved by fostering positive moods in the work environment. Two research questions are explored: 1) What research has connected Linguistic Action and mood to increased performance? 2) What are potential new opportunities for connecting Linguistic Action and mood to performance on projects?


Linguistic Action, Productivity, Performance, Language Action, Learning Behaviors, Lean, Moods.



Long, D. & Arroyo, P. 2018, 'Language, Moods, and Improving Project Performance' In:, 26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Chennai, India, 18-20 Jul 2018. pp 495-504

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