Friday, August 16, 2013

F-words That Ascend, Not Offend

"We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out." - Winston Churchill
One of my favorite Lundbergisms is "practice what you preaching required", and it is my practice to attend trainings and speaker events throughout the year, just as I promote and provide learning events in my business. So, recently, clients and friends joined together to engage in some personal growth and learning of our own!
While I will not disclose the location, date or event name, you can imagine our surprise when we registered months in advance, arrived to find nothing ready, the kick-off started over 40-minutes late, and the opening comments by the host included the F-word (and I don't mean "fashionable")! Embarrassed, dismayed, and recovering from the shock and disappointment, I lead a quick discussion on how we can learn what not to do just as well as we can learn things to do. We turned it around, and even got a smile out of it. We made the most of the event, and the conversation got me thinking even more...what is it about words that can be so inspiring or so damaging...
Please know I am a far cry from perfect, and I am not a stranger to a curse word. There is a time and a place for how you want to communicate and be remembered. From that unfortunate opener, I came up with some alternatives to that oh-so-memorable F-word. These F-words, whether used out loud or as an internal guide will likely ascend you and your business and others' perceptions of you, rather than offend. The list includes:
FOCUSED - Remember to keep your client, customer, audience and team as your focus with your words. They are thinking about them, and not you, so focus on their interests. Also, stay focused on your expertise, so you can really hone it!
FRIENDLY - Rarely do business leaders get criticized for being too friendly. That approachability is what makes someone real. It is both the smile and welcome that people prefer to remember over the rushed and disinterest that too many of us have on our faces and in our body language.
FREE-THINKING - Being open to ideas and concepts that may seem different or new can keep you fresh. You may not implement everything, but by being someone who considers options, you will minimally broaden your horizons.
FORWARD-MINDED - Consider what and how actions and words impact the person, the company and you later. While I am big on being present, it is also wise to think beyond the moment and the emotions in order to think through what is about to happen. Impact often overrides intent!
FLEXIBLE - It is not only nice to show agility, rather it is almost imperative to be willing to change in our wonderfully-paced world of growth and "newness". Demonstrating an ability to shift and flow is something most of us admire and respect.
FIRM - Interestingly enough, I put Firm after Flexible. What I mean by this word and the order, is that it's terrific to be willing to collaborate and alter plans, and at the same time, to be respected, you do have to take a stand, and professionally hold your ground when you believe in something wholeheartedly.
FABULOUS - While this is one of my favorite words, being fabulous is more than a look or a one-time mention. Being fabulous is being happy for others, supportive of what is right, and willing to stand up and stand out for what you believe in while respecting others as well.
So, while this summer's traffic, heat, storms (and more) inside and outside your work or business may bring thoughts that are less than favorable, remember, there is no failure when you stay FOCUSED, FREE-THINKING, FORWARD-MINDED, FLEXIBLE, FIRM and FABULOUS!

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