The Power of I:
Balancing Individualism and Collectivism in the Workplace

Arin N. Reeves
April 2011

What if i argued that You, the reader, should be shown greater reverence in the way i capitalize my pronouns? Would You feel like We were more having more of a dialogue if i broke a few capitalization rules to be more inclusive?

English is the only language where the pronoun referring to the self is capitalized. The architecture of many languages like Hindi, Arabic and Hebrew don’t even have capital letters, but of the languages that have capital letters and capitalization rules, none other than English requires the capitalization of the individual self that is speaking. In other words, in English, I am to stand out in a sentence whether you, he, she and/or they are part of the conversation.

Think Smarter. Lead Better.

  • Arin Reeves is a nationally recognized leader in the field of law firm diversity consulting. In my view, she is the consummate professional. She is an excellent speaker who engages the attention of audiences at all levels, attorneys and staff. Her presentations are clear, concise, and always convey concepts and best practices which reflect the most recent research in diversity management. Likewise, her reports are quite thorough. Arin is punctual, returns telephone calls promptly and gives very sound advice. She is a warm, caring person with a perpetually cheerful demeanor. It’s always a pleasure to work with Arin; I highly recommend her.

    Karen Jackson Vaughn
  • There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

    Michel de Montaigne
  • The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation -- or a relationship.

    Deborah Tannen
  • Arin knows her field and presents powerful information. The reality is that her message transcends the legal profession. Anyone who hears her comments will easily see applicability for all aspects of life.

    Robert Schaffer Chief Legal Officer, Radiology Business Solutions
  • Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.

    Jintao Hu