Nothing is more influential on the circumstances of our lives than the words that we use to express ourselves as our lives unfold. Think about it for a moment. Every thought, idea and inspiration is held captive by the words we choose to express them. Now that’s what I call at-stakeness.
When we use the wrong words, myriad bad things can happen including negative first impressions, demotivated teams, annoyed bosses, disapproving teachers, angry spouses, disappointed children and heaps of misunderstanding. Compounding the problem, our spoken words can live long in the memories of others. There’s no delete key. They exist in the public domain forever.
Which leads me to the point. There is no such thing as “throw-away” words. Every single word has the potential to be a keeper, with all of the positive or negative consequences it creates. Nowhere is this more evident than within families. Time and again, in the heat of emotion, family members say things to one-another that they would never say to a non-family member. And the hurt lasts a lifetime.
As part of my executive coaching practice, I routinely advise others to appreciate the power of their words. I suggest that they discipline themselves to be as thoughtful, circumspect and contemplative as circumstances require. And they always require some level of thought.
If you are a gifted and easy communicator, I encourage you to be especially vigilant. Understand that you may overuse your strength and find yourself hip-shooting way too much. Be careful. The gun may be pointed directly at your foot.