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Words Are Like Weapons - Choose Yours Carefully
Our son is beginning an internship with a company that sells one of the best knives in the world. They're made here in the USA and in the hands of a professional chef, these knives can slice and dice and create magical concoctions of extraordinary food from ordinary recipes. In the hands of someone who doesn't know how to use the knife however, these knives could cut fingers and toes while trying to cut potatoes or meat.
Similarly, the words that we use in speaking to people everyday make a great deal of difference. If we just think about how the following statements cause pleasure in the first sense and pain in the second sense, we will easily understand that there are two ways to say the same thing, and we should always try to choose that way that gets our point across, without sacrificing respect or kindness.
The first sentence looks like this:
"Look at these amazing young people here."
The second sentence states this:
"Look at these pathetic troublemakers here."
In the first instance, the listeners would more likely be responsive and take action to the person speaking, as well as be more positive and uplifted. In the second instance however, the listeners would be put on guard from the very beginning and would have a negative feedback of the person speaking.
In the world of business, especially when we are placed in a role of employers, managers or leaders, we have a responsibility to use our words wisely.
If in fact we use our words to inspire, motivate, uplift and rejuvenate, we can create a very happy workplace with an extremely efficient workforce, one that is willing to lend a hand in any task and is willing to work together.
Most times, however, we find upper management using derogatory language to their subordinates and as a result, they create friction from the very beginning, causing chaos in the workplace. It starts with the words that are used when speaking to people everyday.
So, this week, we urge you to reflect on your language and your word usage. Just think to yourself, "How would I feel if I was told the same thing in the same manner with the same words that I just used to tell him or her?"
If the answer is positive, then by all means, go ahead and give those instructions in that manner. If, however, the answer causes an uncomfortable feeling, then modify the words into a more positive sentence and notice the difference immediately.
Wishing you much success.
With effervescence and gratitude,
Fahim & Seema Mojawalla
Social Media & Design Coaches
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