The words and vocabulary you choose impacts your presence, impact and influence more than anything!
Watch Your Language
The words and vocabulary you choose to apply will determine the presence, impact and influence you want with others.
All business is created through language, linguistics and conversations. If you peel away every layer of the organization, what is left is communications. Whether you are managing, leading, influencing or building your career, there are powerful cues and patterns found in all conversations. Your first step in identifying these clues for an edge on your team is to re-establish your relationship to not only listening, but how you communicate verbally, the vocabulary you apply, and being truly present in all dialogue patterns. These are skills rarely taught in most schools, yet vital for business and financial success today.
Here are some insights from my upcoming book, “Presence, Impact and Influence”
The words and language we choose to apply will shape our defining stores and realities. Our words and vocabulary are powerful tools in your ability to impact and lead others. Words can drive incredible change and can also create conflict. What we say shapes our feelings and actions, and heavily influences the conversations we operate from.
Our words create our realities. All our thoughts and beliefs are constructed using words, and over time we shape these words into our defining stories. These stories come together to edit and form our reality. Thinking turns into language and words we choose, which then turns into actions. We can not read minds, but thinking patterns and intent will always be found in the words and actions someone chooses to take. Nothing is hidden in language over time.
Beyond the actual words that someone speaks to you there are many other factors you are often unconsciously interpreting a person by. It is time to become consciously aware of what those are so that you are able to more accurately understand what a person is fully trying to say to you. Do they have a hidden agenda? Do they believe themselves what they are saying to you? Did they mean to sound so harsh? Is there intent in their choice of language?
Many of us are unaware of our language and the words we choose in our messaging. Most vocabulary is unconscious and automatic, similar the automatic listening we covered in an earlier chapter. In meetings there is constant references that can be made towards the use of weak or limiting language. Think about the classic word ‘but’. Sue, you are doing a great job BUT…… ? The following words simply negate the previous. Simply using the word ‘but’, creates two opposing views where choice and direction is lost. The word, ‘but’ like many others is spoken without even awareness it is being used. Replacing ‘but’ with ‘and’ is an option to practice.
Although the specific words make up only a small portion of what is being said, there is one important thing to remember: the human lexicon (brain) stores and retrieves words by association not by definition (otherwise we would all be walking dictionaries). This means that what a person’s experience with a word will be how their memory chooses to store the understanding of that word. Even if you say something to someone using all the right body language to convey your message, they could still walk away thinking, “when this was said to me before it meant…” How can you get around this problem? Ask a person to repeat back to you what you just said, not necessarily as bluntly as that but say, “How do you see the situation?” You may even ask, “What does his mean to you?”
The vocabulary you choose to ‘consciously’ apply may make all the difference in the power and memorable nature of your message. Do you speak constructively from possibility, enthusiastically or tend to choose conflict, criticism or negativity?
Moving past the words consider things like the person’s tone of voice. Does their tone of voice match what it is they are trying to say to you? For instance, when someone is reporting their year end projections, do they raise their voice at the end indicating that this goal is unachievable? What about eye contact, are they looking at you when you are speaking showing that they are interested in what you have to say or do they only look at you when they are speaking leaving the impression that what they say is important, but what you say is not so?
In the classic Dale Carnegie training class, we often asked for six volunteers to join the front of the room. Each person was asked to repeat one word in the following statement, ‘I never said he stole money.’ Taking turns, each person would accentuate the one word they were assigned. The sentence repeated six times, each time with a new accentuated word represented a different message and meaning. Very interesting.
There are both nullifications and declarations in vocabulary. The decision to communicate from either will establish your ability to develop powerful presence, impact and ultimately influence. We are linguistic beings, and the words we choose set the foundation for the power we have. The power you have!