I’ve decided to focus on how I’m using my words. Both the words I speak out loud, and the words I use in my head to talk to myself. Below I’ve pulled together the tips I’ve come across over the years. Maybe you want to play with some of the ideas, too?
How am I diffusing my power? Where am I using “if-y” words that give me a way out? When do I just keep talking and fail to make a crystalized point? I’m going to try these 5 tips:
- Remove “I think” from the beginning of sentences.
- Eliminate the use of “maybe” when responding to something.
- Avoid “sometimes” when describing something.
- Use “I will” instead of “I’ll try”.
- Avoid getting overly involved in the details of a story – make my point.
Where am I creating negative energy? How do my words create defensiveness? When can I listen more? To see, I’m going to try these 6 ideas:
- Use “I can”, “I do”, or “I will” instead of “I can’t” or “I don’t” or “I won’t”.
- Use “Could” rather than “Should”.
- Use “I get to” in place of “I have to”.
- Ask “What?” instead of “Why?”.
- Say “And” in place of “But”.
- Allow silence versus filling space with words.
Quotes to Contemplate
- Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience. ~Ingrid Bengis
- Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. ~Buddha
- Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. ~Napolean Hill
- All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind. ~Khalil Gibran
- By words we learn thoughts, and by thoughts we learn life. ~Jean Baptiste Girard
- Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure. ~Edward Thorndike
- I like good strong words that mean something. ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012