Words have power

“I have a 9:00 meeting with the staff and I am going to have to battle to get their attention”

If this is how you go into your 9:00 meeting, guess what, even if everyone is on your side, even if everyone agrees with you, your impression is going to be that you had to battle with the staff to get what you wanted, because words have power.  The words we choose  color how others see us, words create responses, words convince, and our words not only color, create and convince others, oh no, our own words do exactly the same thing to ourselves!

This is true not only in our professional life, it is true in every aspect of our lives; if we say “I love the holidays, it’s the clean-up I hate”, then no matter how joyful or easy the clean-up is, you have convinced yourself you will hate it (and you will).  When the driver in the next lane suddenly decides they just have to be in your lane, in your space even, you might be tempted to say something along the lines of “Nobody pays any attention anymore, everyone is just oblivious.” It is highly unlikely you will notice that the rest of your drive is filled with people giving you the right of way, slowing for crosswalks, pulling over for emergency vehicles, because your words have made you blind to reality.

So what can we do about this?  Especially with the Holidays at hand, a tool or two to help ratchet down the drama is helpful.

1) listen to the words you say, are you setting yourself up for conflict?

2) when someone does something you don’t approve of, rather than blasting out a string of words which will come back to haunt you, simply say “that was an interesting choice” and move on.

3) always remember, this world is made up of people just like you and me, and I don’t know about you but I have made a blunder or two along the way; please give us a break and the benefit of the doubt.

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