Ever say something you wish you could “take back?” I sure have! Unfortunately though, you can never erase the words you say…and someone else hears. Think about the social media snafus from celebrities and politicians in the past few months alone. So many words that would’ve been best left unsaid.
Words are mighty and the key to our success in communication, leading, and coaching our team. Even our seemingly little words can have a huge impact.
Our words have the ability to build or break the other person: your receiver.
They can break the receivers:
- belief in themselves and their capabilities.
- willingness to try more or something new
- engagement in their job
- loyalty to you and your company
Here are examples of words, questions, and phrases that can evoke negative emotions and reactions:
|You’re not listening||You always…||You never…|
|If you would “just”||I’ll fix it for you||Why would you have done that?|
Contrary to the breaking words, little words, questions, and phrases that can build the receiver include:
|I understand||Help me||I appreciate…|
|Tell me more…||I’m sorry||What do you think?|
- Plus question starters such as: How, who, what, where, and help me understand allow the conversation to be open and solicit the receiver’s feedback.
- Words we learned as young children that can also build include: please, thank you, and I care.
It’s something to think about, isn’t it?
Consider the words most often used in your conversations with your team. Do they have the impact you want or need them to? If not, make the effort to positively impact the people on your team with each conversation by using the little words that make a huge impact!
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