Considering the Power of Words

By Mar 29 , 20100 Comments

There are people who keep their to-do lists in a notebook. At the end of each week, they can look at it and be pleased about their successes and aggravated by their procrastinations.

Here’s another good idea:
At the end of the week, think back on the words you have spoken to co-workers and people who work for you. You won’t have much trouble remembering various conversations.

On the plus side, you will think of your words of encouragement, those that made people feel uplifted, and words that made them be engaged and cooperative.

Your second list won’t be as nice. Stop to think of words that were harmful. What did you say about someone whose name came up at a meeting? Did you say something that made someone feel ashamed if they overheard your remarks? Did you criticize people rather than the jobs they did?

Some combinations of words are powerful in a positive way:
“I made a mistake.”
“What is your opinion?”
“We …”

There are many others. A business professor at Indiana Wesleyan University says it’s valuable to intentionally use positive expressions like these. The power of carefully chosen words can build trust and create the kind of workplace where people want to contribute their very best.