10 Ways to Expand Your World with Words
Foolish words are tolerated at first and ignored in the end.
Wise words, capture hearts.
People who want to make things better, rally around leaders who talk to make things better.
Leaders talk to:
- Uncover energy drains. “What are you doing that drains you?” “How can you transform energy drains into energy gains?”
- Maximize energizing gains. “What gives you energy?” “Why?” “How can you do more of what you love?”
- Ask, “What’s next,” when things aren’t going well. Turn to the future rather than rehashing the past. When the next thing is repeating a past thing – that didn’t work – stand up and yell!
- Pull teams back from unrealistic plans. Grandiose – unrealistic plans – roll off the lips like butter. But, an “unrealistic” vision is accomplished with realistic plans and achievable short-term goals.
- Determine if an issue or problem is worth addressing. “Is this issue worth talking about?” “Are we going to do something about it, or just talk?”
- Establish action-steps that move toward better. “How will we make this better?”
- Bring up tough issues others avoid.
- Point out disappointing results. “We aren’t getting adequate return for our efforts. What needs to change?”
- Affirm useful behaviors. “Great job,” sounds nice but doesn’t help much. Tell people what they actually did that was great.
- Confront attitudes and behaviors that need to stop.
Open your mouth to make things better, otherwise, keep quiet.
Two rules for words:
- Make it better with passion for excellence.
- Confront what isn’t working with optimism.
Wise words make life better by clarifying, challenging, encouraging, correcting, directing, energizing, and galvanizing.
The right word:
- Quenches thirst.
- Clarifies confusion.
- Heals the broken
- Energizes the exhausted.
- Directs the lost.
Teams are communities built on conversations.
Words bring people together and get them pulling in the same direction.
What should leaders avoid when it comes to the use of words?
Fill in the blank. “Leaders talk to _________.”
Leaders talk too much, when it is listening that gives them insight into ways to encourage, inspire and motivate.
Nicely said, Dauna. I’m always reminding myself to think before I speak and listen more.
2 Ears and 1 Mouth, is what my Granny would say! : )
Said like a true teacher Dauna. 🙂
Some great resources re: words:
1) The book of Proverbs.
2) The epistle of James.
The best words are said after periods of listening, quietness, and reflection.
When people are angry, a soft answer turns away wrath.
KaPow –>>”The best words are said after periods of listening, quietness, and reflection.”
A really powerful concept of using words to connect with people. Words bring people together and provide direction. Words mesmerize and influence people. Words also divide and discourage. I have seen people creating difference on the basis of words. I have seen people creating complex based on the words. What I mean to say that as long as people have right intention, words connect, otherwise disconnect. Many people use words as a means of shield and superiority feelings. Such intention do not provide directions. So, I think leader should avoid using words with wrong intention. Most importantly, leaders should use words that are clearly understood by the audiences. Using words to show the knowledge may defy the purpose. Leaders talk to influence and inspire.
Words can be best means to create impact. Many people in the organizations, used lot of jargon, that are actually not known by people itself. In such situations, however you use creative words, they do not create impact.
I strongly feel that words can be powerful motivators as long as they encourage and open up others to engage into discussion and also allow others to express their feelings. One sided words may not be great motivators, but both sided transactions of words could be better connect and encourager.
Thanks Dr. Gupta. I’m glad you comment includes some of the negative impact of words. Words may be unhelpful just like they can be helpful.
Your sentence, “Most importantly, leaders should use words that are clearly understood by the audiences,” hits home. It reminds me that listeners are the ones who guide the way we communicate.
leaders talk to people.
Stumbling, fumbling, grumbling out of the gate!!!! Oppsy daisy!!!!
See starting out, you are no good!! You got to get good, first, then do!!!
Wrong wrong wrong!!!!! Lol Just my opinion!!!! It’s cool, it just works for me is all.
See folks are driven by a hundred forms of self centered fear.
Hoping they will courageously go where they have never gone before telling them how hard done thing is, is well to me a choice, just a dumb one!!!
Encourage the folks!!! Let them know when we start new stuff we are all pretty lame at it!!!
Let them know they are an eachness in the allness of God and what they have to share has value!! Value to who? Value to how many? Who knows, just has Value!!!
Anyone know how many blogs there are? Millions!!
Some horrible I would have absolutely no interest in inspite of the quality and content of the copy.
Since some have no interest does that negate its Value?
Nope it just means one cannot be everything to everyone, stop trying what you cannot do!!! Do what you can!!
Everybody has a song to sing!!! I say Sing It Loud!!! Somebody somewhere will like it!!! Then just sing to them!!!
Just my opinion based on my experience!!
Started a new blog!!! Movement to Better!! When I figure out how to get the URL in the signature file thingy maybe some if you will drop by and check it out!!
Have a great day!! Sing your song!! With Enthusiasm!!!
Thanks Scott. “Let them know that when we start new stuff we are all pretty lame at it.” Now, that’s a great way to pop the cork on the pressure to be perfect.
Best wishes with the blog.
Thanks Dan. See I consider you a Master Blogger with the best blog about leadership on the net!!
I bed day one though you were pretty lame at it!!! Lol
Every person has their unique gift to share. Like a big ole covered dish supper!!!
I do not care to eat fish, so folks bring fish, I ain’t touching it!! No matter how great it might be.
The person who brought the fish ought not feel bad.
There are enough people out there somebody will be into whatever one is sharing.
I just say don’t walk, RUN to go try things you do not know how to do. Everybody starts somewhere, just go fall flat on your face! Get up keep going!!!
EA. nobody ever got good at anything till they started!!
I was wondering if you would consider changing up the format of your blog posts every once in a while – something less listy with complete paragraphs, useful anecdotes illustrating the concepts, you know: WORDS 🙂
Thanks Udidahan. Sure! 🙂 But, I’m firm on 300 words or fewer.
I love words – whether speaking or writing, but have come to realize a few things: the words don’t have to be mine; a picture is worth a thousand words; letting people discover their own understanding is much more effective than me trying to teach them understanding. Relationships are enriched or broken because of our words, so think and listen before you speak. And as you noted in a post last week, less is often more. Happy Monday!
Thanks Vicki. So powerful! One of the tough ones is believing that our telling-words aren’t as helpful as helping people think and find their own understanding.
More important than not saying something until you have reflected upon it, it to avoid saying something born out of ignorance or misconception. This will either be known to be false as soon as it leaves the lips, or it will cause more conflict.
Case and point, have you ever had a leader say “teamwork is getting so much better, thank you for it”, while the employees are thinking “does he ever get out of his/her office?”. Suddenly, everyone feels the leader is disconnected and in a different world.
If you are not in authority of knowledge, don’t speak on it as if you are, and let those that are, speak. Bosses who present or share work from their subordinates who specialize in that work rob them of their chance for growth, while also greatly increasing the risk of miscommunication and the inability to answer deep questions.
Thanks John. You’re nailing another big one. Talking about things that we don’t know about… OUCH. Confidence can make us believe we know when we don’t.
1,000 words describing your emotion are easier read by your single action.
Less is more…. 😉
“Short words are best, and old words when short are best of all.”
― Winston Churchill
“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see”!”
― Lewis Carroll
Thanks Doc. I think that’s the first time you’ve shared so much of Alice in wonderland… love it.
It’s not communication if the words aren’t heard. At United Airlines, most flight attendants think that they’ve done their job when they’ve parroted the script about seat belts and oxygen masks, whether or not people are actually listening (which in most cases they are not). They are fulfilling the terms of the job description for which they are being held accountable. At Southwest Airlines, though, flight attendants know that the real job is not just parroting the script – it’s making sure that passengers hear it. When David Holmes does it as a rap song or when Marty Cobb does it as a comedy routine, not only do people not fall asleep, they give it a round of applause. And then someone records it with a cell phone and the video goes viral, creating millions of dollars’ worth of free advertising.
Thanks Joe. That first line is killer! You need to come by more often. 🙂
Leaders should avoid a meandering path to their point. For me this means not just about being a good storyteller, but putting minds at ease about why you are asking for their attention. If you’ve ever had one meeting where bad news was shared and an agenda was NOT shared ahead of time, then EVERY meeting from there on will be colored with anxiety from that recollection unless you are diligent about having a clear agenda of what the topics will be.
Treat emails the same, don’t just say EVERYONE READ THIS in your subject line, tease what it’s about and why it has value for the reader. Think like a media outlet that has limited real estate and time to grab the readers attention. If you really can’t think of how what you’re about to say adds value, then go figure out what value your audience/employees need and rewrite the damn thing.
Thanks James. Hmmm .. Tell people what you are going to tell them… tell them … tell them what you told them. BooYah
LOve your jab at lousy drama…
I just love the insights of Lfreak readers.
I love the following quote:
Teams are communities built on conversations.
Words bring people together and get them pulling in the same direction.
Is it a Dan original?
Thanks Other… I think it’s original. But, I’ve forgotten what I know and others have told me.
An excellent post with good take-away.
True Leaders are actually master in their communication, be it verbal or written. The crux lies in the fairness and genuine part. If you are good and people-oriented then you shall always speak from the heart which will be convincing type. You need to maintain your own credibility and enhance your image by not using authoritarian words that can hurt the feelings of others.
There is actually no need for you to impress the audience with fancy jargon words! Motivation just needs sharing the information with inspiration and bringing a sense of belonging for the future course of desired committed actions.
You use a different technique when you have to hide the facts and over-impress the crowd to get their support. Politicians as leaders adopt to this route.
Liked your phrase, “Wise words, capture hearts”.
Leaders talk to convince and influence the followers to reach a common goal.
Working off of Dan’s prompt, “What should leaders AVOID when it comes to the use of words?”
Too frequently, leaders talk to the entire group or team about issues specific individuals are having; we should, in fact, be talking to the individuals.
(Sheepishly raising my hand … I am guilty of this. Yikes – something to improve.)
Leaders talk to people too often when they should be talking WITH them. Conversation is usually more effective than dictation of tasks. I love my boss that always consults everyone’s opinions and talks about problems rather than eliminating them with more rules.
Great article! Thanks for sharing!
I re-read this one again today. Your lists are always right on, and this one hits the bullseye!
Thank you for your commitment to 300 or fewer words. You ALWAYS start my day off right!
“Think twice before action and thrice before reaction”