Words Matter – Use Them Wisely!
How effectively you write can mean the difference between winning or losing that grant or sales proposal. How well you use words to communicate to your team is equally as powerful.
It’s important to pay the attention to the words you use when speaking, particularly if you are in a leadership role. How carefully you communicate can mean the difference between a team who is completely invested to your organization’s project or vision, or just simply compliant. The words you choose can inspire, demotivate or keep your team “stuck”.
For example, consider the words you use when trying to get something done. If you nonchalantly request that a task get completed, and it doesn’t happen, do you get frustrated or upset? Were you really demanding instead of requesting? If the task requires completion, is there a way to successfully communicate its importance so that your team feels motivated and is eager to complete it? Remember – the words you use to inspire actually matter a lot.
As an executive coach, I have consistently observed how the words people use reflect their commitment to complete, or not complete, a task. If someone communicates that they will try to make 10 sales calls or connect with 10 potential funders before our next meeting, I know immediately there is little guarantee of follow through. However, if someone communicates that they absolutely will make those 10 calls, I am pretty confident it will get done. They have communicated their intention to be action oriented and successful in completing the task. More often than not, those people who declare their intention make very effective leaders.
Beyond committing to a task, a leader must be committed to him or herself. If your actions do not demonstrate a commitment to yourself, how can you expect others to be committed? Think about the difference in how you feel when you state, “I will complete this today” versus “I will try and complete this today”. Which one of these statements makes you feel more empowered and productive?
Being an effective leader, defining your future, and accomplishing your goals often requires you push yourself beyond your comfort level. You might have to take on certain tasks that aren’t particularly enjoyable. But always keep the bigger picture in mind. In many cases, the goal is to develop crucial relationships with new funders or sales prospects. Always be striving for long term fulfilment instead of short term satisfaction.
As Don Miguel Ruiz stated in his book, The Four Agreements, “Be impeccable with your word”. He couldn’t have been more right!