Take a moment and think about the power of words. Are words something we take for granted? Each of us can use words constructively, to encourage, or use words destructively. In effect,the words we use shape our lives. They crystallize perceptions that shape our beliefs, drive our behavior and ultimately shape and create our world. How is that for power?
Words Are a Game-Changer
The power of words arises from our emotional responses when we speak, read or hear. The words we use impact us, our family, friends, employees and customers. With wisdom, words define our attitude and influence our method of communication. It is the process of explaining ourselves, our thoughts, ideas, insights, experiences and true emotions.
I suspect that often we all take our words for granted until our words cause a problem. Do we view words simply as letters strung together, and forget their purpose and power? By intentionally using negative words, we can cause harm, lower self-esteem, kill the joy of the day, lower enthusiasm and create negative attitudes.
According to Dr. Andrew Newberg, words can literally change your brain: “A single word has the power to influence the expansion of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
Positive words like peace and love can alter the expression of genes. As human beings, we are hard-wired to worry, which protects us from threats, so our thoughts naturally go there first. Angry words send an alarm message to our brain and cause us to stop thinking logically. Ponder that the rights words can change our reality. Positive words stimulate our brain, make us optimistic, and move us forward towards positive action. Words in fact give us a positive view of ourselves, as well as seeing the good in others.
Of course, negative words have the opposite effect. Consider for a moment the influence of leaders and their words. Are they aware and sensitive to the huge impact of their words? Do they strive to be authentic? The influence of their rate of speech? The words of a leader can convey purpose, value, character, meaning, and unity.
When is the last time you were inspired in a meeting? Words are the canvas to paint a picture of the future and encourage employees to participate in building the future. Indeed, words create expectations and hopes, and build anticipation of what lies ahead (the best is yet to come).
Words Can – and Do – Create Heroes
The words of a leader are like an orchestra leader – they create tempo and volume. The words each not only influence our day, but also our future. Remember words linger long after they are said. Our future depends on what we say and do today! A positive day starts with positive words and a positive mindset. The words of a leader can and do make employees feel valued. They also demonstrate integrity, and model impeccable behaviors, rain, or shine.
An inspirational leader uses words to articulate confidence and respect. Words are culture-building and reinforce the mission, objective and goals of the organization. We should value and celebrate the gift of words. We should also utilize them to bring out the best in ourselves and in others.
Be Impeccable with Your Word
By Tammy Tecklenburg of Tecklenburg Advisors
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz encourages you to be impeccable with your word. He says to:
- Speak with integrity, honesty, and truthfulness
- Say only what you mean
- Speak of what you desire
- Avoid speaking negatively about yourself to others
- Use your words in a positive direction of truth and love
Ruiz explains that words are magic. You can use your words to create good in the world, or to create chaos and spread negativity. I like to think of my words as wands that spread magic. It’s also important to make mindful choices in how you speak to yourself. Our words and thoughts manifest habits and beliefs.
The perception of your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. The way you create the personal brand that you desire is by having clear vision of who you are and saying it over and over again. The power lies within you. What we think is what we say, and what we say is what we do.