Empowered Words – Improve Conversations and Relationships

Words have meaning, words convey feeling and sentiment. Many words have more than one connotation. Choose your words wisely.

Although research reveals the choice of words has a mere 7% impact on the outcome of a conversation, there are some words everyone seems to have a negative reaction to albeit in different intensity. These words can best be described as ‘Fire Cracker Words,’ because like a firecracker once it is lit, one never knows whether it will go off or sit and smolder for a while and then go off or not go off at all. Therefore, to ensure smooth communication avoiding these ‘Fire Cracker’ words will improve your communication outcome. The following words and their more effective choice will enhance your communication.

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Fire Cracker Statement: You Should or You Shouldn’t. Effective Statement: If you want_______, The best approach is to______. Or In the future, please ___________.

Fire Cracker Statement: You have to (must)______. Effective Statement: If you want_____, The best approach is_____.

Fire Cracker Statement: Why don’t/didn’t you___? Effective Statement: Ask questions without using Why: Use: When, What, Where, Who, Which, How. When did you decide to____? What research did you use? How did you come to that conclusion? What prompted you to ____?

Fire Cracker Statement: Obviously you____. Effective Statement: Ask questions: Use: When, What, Where, Who, Which, How. When did you decide to____? What research did you use? How did you come to that conclusion? What prompted you to ____?

Fire Cracker Statement: You never___. Effective Statement: Usually, I notice you ___. Or More often than not you___.

Fire Cracker Statement: You always___. Effective Statement: I notice you seldom___. Or You usually___.

Fire Cracker Statement: If only you____. Effective Statement: In the future, if____, please___.

Fire Cracker Statement: Yes, But____. Effective Statement: Paraphrase back what you heard (Pause. Take a short breath. Give an explanation.)

Fire Cracker Statement: If only____. Effective Statement: Ask questions– using When, What, Where, Who, Which, How. When did you decide to____? What research did you use? How did you come to that conclusion? What prompted you to ____? to learn what prompted the person to do what they said or did. In the future, discuss it with me.

Fire Cracker Statement: I’ll try____. Trying and doing are different phenomena. Trying is not a verb. A verb connotes action. Trying is a word devised to give a comment without a commitment.

“Try and you might succeed”— the age-old adage we’ve all heard doesn’t inspire much confidence. More so, it is not enough when it is a significant personal or professional issue.

When you say, “I will try”, you will gain more respect by saying, “I’m most likely going to fail and disappoint you”.

“I will try” automatically brings to mind all those times people have disappointed you and compensated by saying, “I tried”. It is giving yourself space to fall short of your goals.

‘Try’ leaves people in the dark. It’s a word that lacks TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY. When someone says ‘try’, it is like an all-encompassing disclaimer that some or little effort will be done, but what that effort is exactly, is in the clouds or the wind.

When you say or accept ‘try’, as the answer, the person on the receiving end are avoiding the details, omitting the plan, and in some ways, being condescending to oneself and professional associates, clients, or anyone who is communicating. It’s like ending a sentence with ‘or something’ when you completely discredit and remove confidence from anything said before that.

However, your family, friends, colleagues, or clients deserve to know how their needs are being treated and they also deserve to have the commitment explained to them in plain language. Yes, I will. Yes, I can do it by tomorrow. Or in the situation when you are unable to commitment–opt for a compromise. Mr./Ms. Boss, “I wll do it today if I move ___ to tomorrow. I can do it today if someone could take care of____. Or I can do it tomorrow by___.” Or say, “That isn’t something I want to tackle, do or engage in.” Clear, Concise, Direct, Open, Honest communication.

Avoid giving excuses. The emotional impact of words has been studied by many philosophers. It has been determined the words were created for the user to maintain control and/or manipulate. While we all have unwittingly used these words with no intent to maintain control or manipulate the reaction to the words lies within the receiver and not the person using the words. Therefore, consider your listener and avoid using words, which universally have a frequent negative result. In so doing, your interactions will improve effortlessly and easily.

Avoid Assuming: Your point of view might not be obvious.

Avoid Exaggeration: Proving a point with exaggeration seldom works.

Avoid Blaming Others: For your feelings, mistakes, or mishaps.

Avoid challenging someone’s character or integrity: Such as “You are not telling the truth. You are lying.” etc. Effective Statement: Ask questions– using When, What, Where, Who, Which, How. When did you decide to____? What research did you use? How did you come to that conclusion? What prompted you to ____? to learn what prompted the person to do what they said or did. In the future, discuss it with me.

Avoid stating “It’s not personal” Effective Statement: Ask questions– using When, What, Where, Who, Which, How. When did you decide to____? What research did you use? How did you come to that conclusion? What prompted you to ____? to learn what prompted the person to do what they said or did. In the future, discuss it with me.

Last, but not least be: Open, Honest, Clear, Concise, and Direct.

About Dr. Dorothy:

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D., author, international speaker, and inspirational leader empowers people to view life’s challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening. https://drdorothy.net.

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