Communication Choices

The words we use are powerful.  The old saying is “Sticks and stones will break my bones, But words will never harm me,” but this is the farthest thing from the truth for most of us.  It’s not easy to separate ourselves from the words someone has said about us. Those words feel and can become personal.  Sometimes the words are said based on someone’s false assumptions, other times they’re just lashing out for no reason at all, sometimes their words do have validity, and other times their words make our day.

One thing I’ve always done and always tried to think about is being more positive and looking for possibilities.  The world has plenty of negative people and words in it, so I always look for a way I can help, to see things in a different perspective, or to use words that empower me and the people I work with.  These are phrases like: I can, I will, I know, I will make the time, I’m grateful, I’m confident, I believe, and it’s possible.

But over the past year I’ve made some changes with my vocabulary.  I’ve stopped apologizing for things as much; I’m not going to apologize for something I don’t want to do or don’t like.  I’ve become more decisive, saying yes and no rather than maybe or possibly. I’ve asked more questions, getting to the heart of the matter so I don’t make commitments I can’t keep or fulfill. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I’ve never really been one for filling the time with incessant and random chatter, I’d much rather get to the point so we can get to work.

It wasn’t easy to make those changes, they took time and effort.  I had to break the habits that I’ve lived with for so long, and as you probably know, most habits aren’t easy to break.  But I know that the changes I’ve made have made me into a better person, a better leader, a better business owner, and a better communicator, so they’re changes worth making.

What about you?  What words do you use on a regular basis?  How would your life change and improve if you were to use different words?

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