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  • Olivier S.E. Courtois

The Power Of Words

Updated: Aug 11

In January, it is customary to extend our wishes to our friends and relatives. Whether we mean it really or not, it is a teleguided set of words that we express without too much consideration. Many of our words belong to that category. In the corporate world, we have a whole set of buzz words that we keep using automatically.

Words have a powerful transformative effect. As the saying goes: ‘words are knives’. Potentially. Therefore, we should pay a lot of attention to the words we use. As leaders, we can empower people around us and beyond, give them the nudge they need, inspire them to act. We can also breach confidence, generate anger, self-doubt, despondency, passive or active resistance. One word can make a whole difference.

Words are credible though under 2 conditions: our attitude when we speak them out, and the consistency between our acts and our words. For example, a ‘good job’ uttered with a fake smile and received when the provider is pursuing his/her own agenda will be perceived as manipulative.

Here is a suggestion for 2020: pick up one word you will stop using, and choose one word you will use more this year, consistently and in a non-manipulative way. I wish you a great year 2020. (And I mean it 😊) #leadership #communication

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