Sometime ago I have written an article about the words that are commonly overused, especially by women which undermine their position and relationships.
These words were: “I guess”, “Sorry”, “But”, “Just”, “No problem”, “I have to”, “I’ll try”.
Today, I want to talk about words that bring positive power with them. By incorporating them into our vocabulary and by using them often, we have the power to transform our communication style and create positive relationships, both in life and work.
The first word on my list is the word “and’. You might be wondering what’s so special about this word. For me, this word is all about inclusivity, it is all about opportunities and possibilities. It is the opposite of the word “but”. It allows you to voice your opinion without diminishing or criticising the opinion of another person. Listen to these to sentences and see for yourself:
What would you think and feel if I say to you:
- “I really like your idea, but I was thinking we could …” vs.
- “I think your idea is interesting AND we could …”
Do you hear and feel the difference?
We can keep on thinking of the past and our wants for the future, yet the truth is that the only thing we have is now. It is time to incorporate this more in our language. Stop putting things off and wonder how it will be in the future. Figure out what you “want” and start acting “now”.
3&4 You & Me
I want to address the words “you” and “me” together, as the right balance between these two can really make the difference. In both cases, the additional important point is the context that they are used in.
In general, if you often use the word “you”, it could be an indication of you being an empathic person, focused on understanding others. There is also a flip side to that: it could also be used in a negative sense as it could sound like an accusation “It is your fault”. The other danger of overusing the word “you” is that you are overly focused on the others, their feelings and wellbeing, instead of yourself.
On the other hand, using lots of “I” and “me” could be an indication of having and maintaining healthy boundaries. Yet, when taken a bit too far, it could point to someone taking on a victim role “It is always my fault,” or being too egocentric and focused solely on their own needs.
The whole art lies in balancing these two perspectives. For those who know that they are more focused on others, the challenge lies in not forgetting yourself when communicating with others. As they always say when you are flying: “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help others”. As for those who are good at putting themselves first, the challenge lies in practising seeing things from the perspective of another person.
I love this word and the power that it brings with it. It is a word I use often when coaching my clients. It is the word that offers possibilities, allows us to dream, get out of our own automated ways of doing things. This word is a catalyst for change. I also love this word as it lives in the right part of our brain which is connected with our creativity, emotions and intuition, and it by-passes the analytical thinking left part of our brain.
Imagine you have the job you love…
Imagine you are able to communicate well with others…
Imagine you are being the best version of yourself …
What becomes possible then …
As little kids, we are often reminded by our parents not to use this word too often as it is not polite. We were often being told to replace “I want …” by “I would like to …”. Some take it even further and instead of saying “I want” or “I would like” they say “I must”, “I have to”, “I should”. One of our strongest needs as human beings is the need for autonomy.
When we say “I have to” there is not much room left for feeling autonomous. “I want” is also about ownership. When I say “I want to do yoga”, it is my own choice and the chances that I will actually do it are much higher than if I say “I have to do yoga”.
“Do” is a great action word which is very much connected with “want”. When we act, we move closer to what we want. And we have much higher chances of acting if we frame it as something that we want to do rather than what we have to do.
Avoid the trap of “I will try”. However innocent it sounds, it is already undermining you and is loaded with self-doubt. It is far better to think about something and to decide whether you will actually do it or not. And there is nothing wrong with saying “no” to things you do not enjoy. So, either say “Hell, yes I will do it.” Or “No, thanks”. Don’t leave it hanging.
How well are these words incorporated in your vocabulary? What are your favourites? Please share in the comments below!