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:

  1. Uncover energy drains. “What are you doing that drains you?” “How can you transform energy drains into energy gains?”
  2. Maximize energizing gains. “What gives you energy?” “Why?” “How can you do more of what you love?”
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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?”
  6. Establish action-steps that move toward better. “How will we make this better?”
  7. Bring up tough issues others avoid.
  8. Point out disappointing results. “We aren’t getting adequate return for our efforts. What needs to change?”
  9. Affirm useful behaviors. “Great job,” sounds nice but doesn’t help much. Tell people what they actually did that was great.
  10. Confront attitudes and behaviors that need to stop.

Open your mouth to make things better, otherwise, keep quiet.

Two rules for words:

  1. Make it better with passion for excellence.
  2. Confront what isn’t working with optimism.

Wise words make life better by clarifying, challenging, encouraging, correcting, directing, energizing, and galvanizing.

The right word:

  1. Quenches thirst.
  2. Clarifies confusion.
  3. Heals the broken
  4. Energizes the exhausted.
  5. 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 _________.”