“The words you speak become the house you live in.” ~ Attributed to Hafiz
I speak a number of languages…English, Spanish, Italian, and Positivity. Yes, Positivity is a language. It’s the universal language of success. You have to speak it, if you want to go places in this world. Even if you’ve spoken Negativity your whole life, you can learn to speak Positivity into your life!
All languages have patterns that we practice in order to master them. When you finally become fluent in the language, the new way of thinking becomes automatic and you can form real and deep connections with others who speak it. The same is true when you practice speaking Positivity. You will create great success, when you make it a practice to speak positivity into your life every day. The words you speak become self-fulfilling prophecies, so speech is an extremely powerful tool. Once you’ve said it, your brain and body believe it.
We all have our own particular pattern of speech – some people are critical faultfinders, while others are known for always building others up. Of course, at times the most positive person can speak a negative comment. But overall, what pattern of speech do you have?
Over the course of the next week, I encourage you to pay attention to the words you use so you create greater awareness of your pattern of speech. Are you speaking Positivity into your life or is Negativity your mother tongue? You might even enlist a buddy to help you, because it’s difficult to be aware of this all the time.
We become more successful in life when we learn to use positive speech effectively. As you gain greater awareness, you’re going to notice how often the tendency to be judgmental is associated with negative speech. That’s why I encourage you to learn somatic practices and to practice suspending judgment and mindfulness.
Learn to avoid blanket statements or absolute statements, because they’re judgmental in nature and aren’t helpful in developing positive speech. They appear in thoughts such as, “total disaster, complete idiot, absolute wreak, always late, or never listens to me.”
Recognize words that limit you or label you. Notice when you’re speaking whether you’re creating unwanted boundaries in your mind. These words are usually followed by the word, “so”. And we often use them as excuses. For instance, you may say, “I’m a procrastinator, so…”
More often than not, we misuse the power of speech by unconsciously sabotaging our chances of success, by convincing ourselves that something is impossible; it can’t happen. Be mindful to avoid words that breed hopelessness, fear, anxiety or negativity.
On the other hand, when you use positive language about yourself and your abilities to meet challenges you will love the outcomes you achieve. When you speak Positivity, you use language that is precise, results-oriented and builds trust.
Neuroscience has proven that you can rewire your brain to replace destructive patterns of thought, speech and behavior with more positive ones. Once you’ve noticed a manner of speech that isn’t bringing positivity into your life, make a conscious decision to replace it. This applies to the words you speak about yourself and words you speak and choose to listen to about others.
When you want positivity to grow in your life, you won’t want to give your problems or stresses more power by talking about them. Instead, focus on the good that you want to grow. If you want more influence, self-confidence, connection or opportunities, pay attention to what you’re sending out into the world each time you speak.
Also, monitor your body language as well. How you hold yourself – your posture, facial expression, and demeanor – profoundly shapes your emotions and how you speak.
Are you ready to become proficient in the language of “Positivity”? It may seem like a foreign language to you, but you can master this powerful skill. It will attract more opportunities and give you the confidence to go after and get the success you crave. I’d love to partner with you as you speak positivity into your life. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
Entire business departments have been thrown into a panicked frenzy because of them. Bosses have come close to firing loyal employees because of them. Friendships have been ruined because of them. Reputations have been damaged because of them. What has so much power to cause so much misery? People are unintentionally sending messages that are perceived as rude emails because they come across as demanding, disrespectful or insubordinate.
In business, especially via email, we often sacrifice kindness and respect in an attempt to be concise and to the point. Just “wanting to be quick” can lead to communication that is impoverished and more likely to be misunderstood.
We understand words in conjunction with vocal pitch and tone, speed and cadence, pauses, gestures, poses, and facial expressions. For example, we know that a twinkle in the eye and a smile softens corrective feedback. But with email, it’s very easy to convey frustration and judgment, because an email misses those auditory and kinesthetic elements of in-person conversation.
As human beings, no matter the situation, we want to feel seen, acknowledged and respected. However, in today’s world of emails and text messaging, clear and concise communication becomes complicated. Email strips a conversation bare, leaving it open to the receiver’s interpretation, which is largely based on their own cultural background, knowledge, biases, or current emotional state.
Since it’s often not what you say, but how you say it, that is perceived by your audience, how can you ensure your emails aren’t perceived as “rude emails” but are well received and elicit the responses you desire?
I’ve created a Checklist to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. Here are five ways to check yourself and ten ways to check your email, before hitting the Send button…
- Check your mood. If you’re rushed, frustrated or impatient, find your center and calm down before you write and send an email.
- Be deliberate. My favorite NLP presupposition says: “The meaning of my communication is the response that I get.” This means that in communication, I’m 100% responsible for what I communicate. If the other person misunderstands, I have to recheck how I communicated.
- Reflect on your tone. If you would hesitate to say something to someone’s face, don’t write it in an email.
- Be concise, but engage your heart. Always remember that on the other side of your email is a human being. Use all your interpersonal skills and make sure you convey care and respect.
- Continue to refine your communication skills. We’re always in the process of improving our skills that lead to deeper personal and professional relationships. And, since your success hinge highly on your connections, excellent communication is vital!
Check your email:
- CC, BCC, or Reply All carefully. Only loop in the people who need to see what you have to say.
- Limit negative feedback or correction via email. Negatives become especially negative in email form, so discern when in-person communication is more appropriate.
- Use exclamation points sparingly. Enough said.
- Remember the power in a name. Keep it personal by acknowledging the person by name; and sign off with either your name or at least your initial(s).
- Include niceties. At the beginning of the day, or if you haven’t had a contact for awhile, a few kind words keeps brief messages from sounding brusque.
- Give detailed, weighty messages the respect they deserve. “Got it” or “Fine!” will appear flippant and rude.
- Proofread. Improper grammar, spelling and punctuation convey the idea that you don’t care.
- Create a clear message in the subject line. If your message is time sensitive, include a date or time, instead of URGENT or ASAP.
- Write in an easy-to-read format. Use white space to visually separate thoughts. Bullet points or bold type can highlight important details. However, all capital letters or boldface is perceived as “shouting.”
- Read it out loud. Make sure all relevant information is included in a manner that is clearly understood.
Miscommunication occurs when people have different expectations about the messages they send and receive. Making assumptions about your audience’s expectations increases the risk that your message, or its tone, will be misinterpreted.
You’ll put your best foot forward, if you remember to ask yourself, “Who is my audience? How would I talk to them in person? What kind of impression do I want to make?”
Would you like to learn more about how NLP coaching can enhance your relationships through effective communication skills? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).