August 8, 2011

Word Power

Words have the power to influence, inspire, and inform; they also can destroy, defame, and deflate.  Choose them carefully.

We all respond favorably to words that excite and engage us.   We also feel the hurt or pain of words hurled in anger or frustration.  Yet, many of are not aware of the impact of our words on others.

There is a significant difference between what one says and what someone else’s hears.  Though many people are often unaware of the impact of our words on others, we need to be more attune to the influences of what we say.

Whether we like it or not, we are responsible for our messages to others.  It is not the recipient’s responsibility to understand what we said; it is our responsibility to make certain our words are understood.

I had a very interesting conversation with a woman the other day who was frustrated with a friend who misinterpreted what she had said.  When I asked her to repeat what she said, I could readily understand the reason the friend got upset.  When I explained to my friend what I heard, she defended her position saying, “you know me, I would never say anything like that.”  Unfortunately, she had and was not aware of the negative influence of her comments.   And, the more I attempted to explain the source of the problem, she continued to defend her personality and not her vocabulary choices.

Words are a very powerful tool.  They are also a very intimidating and confrontational weapon.   In this day and age where we are often busy, distracted, rushed, frustrated and challenged, the urge to say something and move on may have disastrous consequences.  Before saying anything, be mindful of your audience, the message you wish to convey, and the outcome you desire.

The words you choose will have a lasting impact on those people; and, negative ones have a way of lingering longer than we would like.  Be mindful of the recipients and how they listen, interpret, and respond to how they are communicated to.  Your message is not important for you; your message is important for them.  Remember to choose words that will be received appropriately by your audience, not simply understood by you.

We have a great challenge in our society today and that involves the art of communication.  The ability to communicate effectively is a significant part of the solution.  While communication is listening effectively, the words we choose and the way we use them can draw people in or repel them.  Us e words that inspire, influence and inform – you will enjoy the results.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.