Excerpt from new book ‘Presence, Impact and Influence
Watch Your Language III - Declarations in Linguistics
Moving away from limiting language through nullifications and deflections (see Watch Your Language II) in the workplace gives us a tremendous amount of leverage, potential, growth and understanding in our professional and personal lives.
Welcome to declarations in linguistics.
Redirecting our attention in language to what we want, instead of what we do not want, is the essential first step in achieving personal breakthroughs and goals. In the 1700’s both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau wrote many essays on this topic in the development of Transcendentalism. They found common in their work that when most people were asked to set goals for themselves, they were often filled with habits or conditions the people wanted to avoid on their lives. This same phenomenon is found in many goals people apply today.
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to have less stress and worry in my life.”
“I want to lesson my debt.”
“I want to procrastinate less.”
Each of these commonly phrased goals each include what the person is trying to make go away; which of course is what will always show up for them.
Slight adjustments to what these same people want to bring into existence could sound something like:
“I will be a certain weight by a certain date.”
“I choose to have calm and focus in my life.”
“I will have saved a certain amount of money by a certain date.”
“I will be proactive and focus my energy on accomplishments.”
“I will accomplish my major goal, allowing me to possess what I desire.”
The difference in simply adjusting the wording and language of goals is astounding.
A classic reference is in this work is “Think and Grow Rich”, written by Napoleon Hill. Dating back to the 1930’s this material reflected on the habits and practices of many successful people. Clear declarations and goal setting includes strong declaration language and focus. This book is found in the bookshelves of many successful people for a reason.
“If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail.”, Napoleon Hill
Declarations are used ‘to bring something into existence’. They focus on what was, what is and what can be. Declarations are also known as constructive in nature as they are meant to build upon what already exists, bringing something new into reality. Constructive or committed talk, unlike limiting talk uses clear, direct and powerful language to effectively communicate clear thoughts and choice. There is clarity in communications by conveying clear information, courageous emotions and set and structured feelings on future goals.
Declarations that focus on what is possible and what can be has a progression in its structure to advance understanding, vision and the situation itself. This vocabulary helps you focus on the imagery and feelings of what you are seeking to bring into reality or even better understanding.
Committed declaration talk includes:
Powerful, measured language that sets a stage and takes a stand … ownership and control! Will, can, choose, have, has, I am going to by when….. watch me.
People gifted in declarations are good at declaring, “What would be possible if…..?”
Committed declaration talk is useful in times of expansion and possibility. Its potential can be motivating with ‘playing to win’ or ‘putting it on the line’ language. It is both efficient and effective, diving into action and avoiding excuses and delays. Committed talk will convey a high level of confidence, that can be even more important than certain skill sets. In organizations people are influenced and moved to action by those who can transfer strong confidence. If you observe any strong leader, you will get a sense of the language they choose to apply to situations that inspire possibilities, teamwork, inclusion and motivation. Their reputation is built on action, accomplishments and seeing goals through. What they do is more important than what they say.
Declarations also include self-reflections that acknowledge what you have created or own for yourself, and your ability to change situation you are in. Declarations include ‘I’ statements that lead to self-ownership. Deflection and blame does not exist in this vocabulary.
Constructive language strives to create an empowered environment formed with focus, clarity, consistency, decisiveness, and measured success.
Just as great speaker can move an audience to action by the words they use, the same is true for you. You may need to inspire, motivate or even move your team, people or even a client or customer to action. Please pay very close attention to the solid declaration vocabulary you use.
Practice taking thorough notes where you truly listen for the language patterns you or your teammates select. Perhaps you can record, with permission, your next meeting to watch back later as a video?