Your Choice of Words Count: 5 top tips to choose your words to your advantage By: Kgobati Magome

Your Words count! They carry meaning. Through your words, you transfer simple and complex ideas to another person. While non-verbal gestures, sounds, grunts, facial expressions, are important, most of your communication is dependent on your words. Through words, you ask for what you want, inspire others to move towards a vision they have, and get to the destination that you want for you and them.

Studies from Abraham Maslow and Self-Actualization Psychology indicate that we as human beings have no fully fledged instincts but only “instinctoids”. We are born not knowing what anything “is” or what anything means or what leads to what. This means that from the time you were a baby you grew up by learning and discovering various things from your environment. Up to now, you continue to formulate, conclude, and create your own meaning at multiple levels.

The words that you use, accept, and absorb govern what you see. The meaning they carry creates feelings and experiences in us. For example. If you say “Criticism is horrible; I hate it, I always fall apart.” that becomes a toxic instruction to yourself. Often we use these expressions because we hear most people use these expressions, without much thinking.

So, for better or for worse, when you say a word, you call a world into being, you create your experience.
Here are 5 top tips to choose your words to your advantage:

1: Be mindful of the words you choose
Intentionally take note of the words you use in your speech and thoughts.

2: Assess and Check how the language you use helps you
Is your language enriching and empowering you? Or is it limiting and diminishing you? Make a note of that for yourself.

3) Choose to consciously use words that enhance and flourish your state and experience.
Be deliberate about purging some words out of your vocabulary, and cleaning up your language in ways that support your success. Plan to catch yourself when you use words that diminish you, rather than enrich you. Instead of “Bite me; or stupid me”, use “I made a mistake”, or “that’s a learning moment for me”.
List two to four words that you choose not to use from this day forth.

4) Play the Game of Challenging words and language that diminish you and/or others.
Once you are able to detect language that diminishes you rather than enrich you, take the step of challenging it. Call it out for the dis-abler and the “poison” it is to your well-being and health.

This step of challenging language can be a lot of fun. Try it for yourself and see. Often when you play this game, you will realise how nonsensical some of the words we use are. As the giver-of-meaning to words, you can make fun of words.

5: Create a new treasure chest of words and language that is empowering!
Instead of saying “I am hopeless at this“, choose “What am I learning here”; Instead of “I have to make a success of this, otherwise I will be nothing “, choose “I am worthy, whether this works or not”

In my book titled; The New language of Leadership, I present what is proving to be the New Language of leadership from the many companies that we work with. I also offer some practical tools on how to use the marvel, the wonder and magic of words – to increase your team’s as well as your own productivity by 400% in less than a month, and increase your profits while at it!

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