word choice

Weighted Words

Do you pay much attention to the words you use when communicating?

In thinking mostly about verbal communication, do you tend to use inflammatory or weighted words? If so, is it your intention? This is very, very important.

When you verbally communicate to your colleagues at work, your family and your friends, you should always choose your words with care; otherwise you might get a negative response if your words are too fraught with deleterious meaning.

Here’s an example: Two coworkers don’t get along great, but they learn to coexist. Having a positive attitude toward one another helps. However, when communicating ABOUT the other person, they use incendiary words when more positive ones, or simply factual ones, would be an improvement and might even contribute toward a more peaceful relationship. Coworker A says one morning “I was ambushed first thing this morning  by Coworker B.” Wow, ambushed! That’s pretty harsh! Can someone who says they were “ambushed” actually manage to muster up a single good feeling about the alleged ambusher for the rest of the day?  How about using these words instead “Coworker B gave me a rush job to do first thing this morning.” That takes all of the subjectivity out of the word, and simply states a fact. This is a place of employment and rush jobs happen. No reason to have a negative attitude; let’s just get the job done.

I’m certainly not trying to be PC police here, or edit or censor what other people say. I’m simply trying to point out that the words you use affect not only the people you use them with, but they also can affect your own attitude and demeanor. Choose your words wisely, with care, and with an eye toward how your listener will respond (even the response you desire to elicit), and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. Until then, enjoy a great, live rendition of the The Allman Brothers Band “Wasted Words.”

About the author

I am a third generation printer, and a second generation owner of Curry Printing. Ink (pms 185!) must run through my veins! As a "working owner," I am at Curry every day, working in and on my business. The old adage is true...if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!

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