The Words We Use

Posted on December 8, 2016 by

STOP what you’re doing and read this. I promise that it’s worth it.

You have more power in you than you know. Right now, you have the ability to change someone’s life, starting with your own. And starting now – in this moment – you’re about to learn some secrets that can produce powerful results for you.

The “Big Secret” is this: The words you choose to use every day are vitally important. To you and everyone around you.

Words have power. They have the power to uplift. They have the ability to motivate, to inspire, to elicit emotion. Words can make someone laugh, cry, or smile.

For example: A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?” LOL 

See? Of course, words can also make you roll your eyes at a horrible joke like that!

But just the opposite is true. Words can also make someone angry, feel insulted, or motivate someone to do something bad.

“Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs” ~ Pearl Strachan

There are a few things that factor into how words are used. The first thing that comes to mind is: Intention. What do you intend to say with your words? What feeling or action would you like to elicit from the listener or reader? It’s amazing how few people take that into consideration before communicating, just as it’s amazing how many people seem to talk just to hear themselves talk, as if they think they’re getting paid by the word!

Most engineers know that awareness of a problem is half the solution.  So how do we know if we even have an issue with our communication? Simple. How do people react to what you say?  Are they adversarial? Do you make people angry or uncooperative? Or do you make people happy to be around you and want to work with you?

Here’s a real estate example: When you’re talking to a seller, do they usually answer your questions? Or question you? Do most sellers tell you how much they still owe on their existing loan or do they resist by telling you it’s none of your damn business?

If they usually don’t want to answer, it could either be because they’re just not motivated, or it could be because you’re not asking in a way that makes them feel comfortable enough to answer you accurately.

It could very well be the words you’re using or how you’re asking them. 

Consider the situation and nature of the conversation you’re having with someone. If you’re talking with someone who’s skeptical, suspicious, or just doesn’t trust you yet, it should go without saying that if you’re not able to put them at ease and feel comfortable discussing things with you, you’re just not going to get very far with that person at all!

So how do we begin to help someone open up and begin to trust us? How do we bridge that gap of communication?  By taking small steps. By speaking the truth, and by using the right words that help our cause.

Here are some examples of the type of language needed in situations like that…

If someone is resisting you, you’ve first got to use words that acknowledge that you can relate to them and their situation and that you’re not judging them. Meet that person at the place/level where they are before you take them to where you want to go.

Words that are best for this include “I appreciate and…” or “I respect and…” or “I agree and…” For example, “I respect you for bringing that up and…” or “I can appreciate that this has been challenging for you and your family, and…”

When you use this type of language, you will break down the walls of resistance, because the person with whom you’re communicating will feel understood and respected, and will therefore want to start working with you, rather than against you.

In other words…

“Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.”

By the way, the exact same ideas & language works with the people with whom we already have relationships (or want to have relationships with) as it does in business!

Now that you know about how important the words we use are in our everyday personal and professional lives, you’re partway there to becoming an extremely effective communicator, master influencer, and more dynamically powerful individual!

But wait…there’s more! Because just important as words are, it’s even more important HOW we use them!  So be sure to read this column next month, when we take things to the next level and learn some real ninja communication tactics!

Until Next Time,

Tony Pearl

Tony PearlTony Pearl is an entrepreneur, copywriter, proud father, mentor, marketing consultant and talented teacher who resides in the Washington, DC area. He has traveled to over 26 countries, speaks 4 languages, and continues to travel extensively. He has been a professional Ballroom and Latin dance instructor, competitor, and exhibitor for over 19 years. As a Real Estate Investor, Tony has bought and sold over Ten Million dollars worth of real estate, and has been educated by and associates with the best.

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