Our Words Matter

Our Words Matter

Words matter. Our words matter.

Clear communication is essential. Without it, frustration builds. There’s less success and more stress.

Specific words are directive. Instructive. Encouraging. Helpful. Motivating. They can paint a more detailed picture in people’s minds of what we want them to do.

That’s what the word “landfill” did for me on the signs at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. Tossing something in that section of the three-part container meant it was going to the landfill. That was much more powerful for me than the typical words used – garbage and trash.

The Power of Being Specific with Our Words

Obviously, I’ve always known garbage ends up in a landfill, but I tend to forget when tossing garbage. I couldn’t forget at the convention center. I wonder if some who approached the container with stuff to toss sorted it more carefully after seeing that word than they might have.

Let’s use specific, descriptive language this week and beyond.

Rather than telling your children and others, “That was good!” tell them why it was good. Was it accurate, thoughtful, unique, organized, beneficial, neat, complete, creative, or something else?

Rather than telling children and others, “You are good!” tell them why they are. Were they patient, other-centered, loving, generous, kind, gentle, wise, helpful, respectful, or something else?

Rather than declaring, “That’s unacceptable!” tell them why it is. Were they careless, self-centered, argumentative, rude, messy, incomplete, foolish, demanding, insincere, prejudiced, or something else?

Make sense? I hope so. Let’s do this!