Monday, May 31, 2010

The Power of Our Words– They Really Impact our Outcomes

One of my favorite quotes, is by an unknown author, and really reminds us of the importance of our words.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
This quote implies that to change our words, you need to change your thoughts. As an expert in facilitating difficult conversations, I can say how true this is. I watched many people express what their “inside voice” was saying, and in many cases, it exasperated the situation. As you know, the inside voice sometimes says what we are feeling, and can be quite reactive.
Here are five tips to ensuring that you mean what you say and say what you mean:
• Think first…really think before making a statement.
• Ask yourself “would I want to be on the receiving end of what I am about to say?” If not, change the statement.
• Focus on the issue, not the person.
• Ask questions to avoid making inaccurate assumptions or statements that fuel the conversation instead of defuse it.
• Use affirmative language and avoid words like “should of”, “never” and “always”.

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