Be careful of the words you use

How conscious are you of what you say? Both in terms of your inner dialogue and what you say to others?

Some basic research from the 60s is often used to tell you that only 7% of your communication relates to the words used. Body language and tonality are very important, but words are way more powerful than 7% of the message!

When someone asks you how you are, do you say “not too bad”. What is that telling them and, more importantly, you? That you’re doing OK on the “bad” scale! Just try shifting that to saying “I am good thank you”. Unless this is a total misrepresentation of where you are, it’s a far more positive statement to relay and, most importantly, feed your own psychology with. Words have energy and we should use them with this in front of mind.

Language feeding our psychology

Language feeds our psychology and negative or doubtful words can become self-fulfilling prophecies.

How often do you use the words “try”, “maybe”, “but”, “might”, “possibly” and the like. These words are full of doubt and will give you an excuse for anything you are committing to. It is the same whether you use these words internally or in communication.

Also negative words such as “nervous”, “fear”, “weak”, “not good”, “can’t”. These words will feed your destructive self and limit your potential.

Barrack Obama built a presidential campaign around 3 words “Yes We Can”.  Words have power!

I helped one leader eliminate the word “try” from our conversations recently and it gave him a more certain psychology. Not only that, but his actions became more assured in line with this. This also changed the dynamics of how he communicates with others. It will change this for you too.

Influencing others

Your words will influence others. Do your words make others feel better, see possibilities and help them move beyond their limiting beliefs? Do they instil confidence and trust in you as a leader?

The way you provide feedback, communicate what you need or what you intend to do will either inspire people or leave them uninspired. It will impact on the feelings of yourself and others.

Communicating using the right medium

I hope you agree that words have power. It is also true that body language and tonality will have a great impact too.

Therefore it’s critical that the more important the message you need to deliver, the more you need to employ the 2 or 3 forms of communication. So move from email to phone, or phone to face-to-face with your communications to achieve the best results. Remember to choose those words with care whatever the medium!

If you need help and support with communication skills for you or your teams, free to call me on 07912 143040 or email at and we can discuss how I can help you.