Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Word Choices for Engaging with Examples

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."
~ Rudyard Kipling

With so many of us focused on how we feel, rightly so, and so many organizations wanting to have a culture and environment of safe creativity and personal and professional growth, many words and phrases are coming into the workplace in meetings, on Zoom, and Teams that may feel appropriate, yet lead to others being uncomfortable.

What to do?

Please lead by example by replacing words/expressions that can be emotionally triggering with these words and phrases that will still honor what is happening while keeping the energy focused on what is at hand:

"I don't like this" becomes "Because this is not a good fit for our client, let's pass on this idea." This example is about choosing what is best for the clients and not the emotional reaction to the person's idea shared.

"Nobody is supporting me in my work" becomes "Since I would like to collaborate with others, who is willing to work with me, please?". This tweak makes it less about accusing someone else or blaming others and more about a request for help.

"You need to calm down" becomes "Since your passion is clear, if you will please slow down and share, we will likely be able to follow well". This change removes judgment from someone's emotions while encouraging a change for a different outcome.

There are numerous examples that could also be added. Suffice it to say the point of these adjustments is to be empathetic without criticism and considerate without coddling. Additionally, when people approach you about others' words and/or actions, insist that it is best to not judge or assess emotions, rather to have an open dialogue about work, projects, deadlines, and expectations without prejudice or a hidden agenda. Emotions impact us and Emotional Intelligence will guide us through to positive results and real relationships!

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