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Your Words Matter a LOT

By August 14, 2019No Comments

I’ve been doing a lot of group coaching within organizations lately.

I’ve learned a ton from working with these groups, and it’s given me an opportunity to identify some language tendencies and word choices being used that I believe are worth taking a closer look at……


1. Using “you” instead of “I”: 

If you ever pay attention to interviews, people often use the word “you” when speaking about a personal experience.

I see the same tendency in our group coaching calls….

Check out this example….

Let’s say the discussion is on the subject of “fear”. It’s common for me to hear someone say something similar to…

“You know how when YOU’RE faced with a challenging situation, it can be difficult for YOU to move towards the fear and do it anyway.”

My response is…

“Are you speaking about me, or your own experience?”

If you’re speaking about your own experience, it’s more impactful to use “I” statements, and personalize it.

In doing so, the sentence changes to the following….. 

“When I’M faced with a challenging situation, it can be difficult for ME to move towards the fear and do it anyway.”

The “I” statements have more impact and a deeper level of personal ownership.


2. Making Assumptions:

Another tendency that I see with my coaching clients is clumping other people’s experiences  into their own and make statements that are full of assumptions.

For instance, someone might say….

“We all work really hard here.”...OR…

“I’m sure we’re all in agreement that days can be really challenging.”…OR….

“That situation was really difficult for us.”

Assuming that everyone shared a similar experience to you is a slippery slope.  

It’s best to personalize the experience and refrain from assuming everyone feels the same way that you do.


3. Not Creating Space For Change 

I’ll often hear people say things like…..

“I’m not a good communicator.”

“I get angry easily.”

“If I don’t keep moving, I get anxious” 

“I’m not a good public speaker.” 

My response…..

Consider changes the above statements to the following…

“In the past, I’ve struggled with communicating effectively.” 

“In the past, I would often get angry easily.” 

“In the past, anxiety would kick in if I had too much down time.” 

“In the past, speaking in front of groups was challenging.” 

By putting these things in the past, even if they happened one minute prior, you create space for change.

In essence, you create separation from your current situation and the previous “negative” experience and no longer make these things part of your reality.

Hope these help!

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