One of the first quotes I read in this article Words You Leave Behind by Scott Mabry was “Your Words Are a Self Portrait.” I thought that was a great way of thinking about the words that you use when you are talking to others. The words that you use have such an impact on other people and you need to think about that before speaking.
Many of the things in this article made me think about the importance of words during conversations. What type of impression do you want to leave on others after they have met you? Are the words you use influential, intentional or inspiring? Are they uniting people or dividing them? Words can give energy to others or take it away.
Some of the best ways he describes how words are used by leaders in organizations are:
- Organizations that align words and actions build trust and courage.
- Words are the oxygen of an organization.
- Organizations that teach and encourage the wise use of words have an advantage over those that do not.
- Leaders set the bar for communication through the values they transmit in every email, every meeting, every discussion.
- Relationships are built on words and confirmed through actions.
Can you remember the words that someone said to you where you felt motivated, inspired and proud? Unfortunately, you probably remember the words that were critical, cruel or placed self-doubt in your mind even more. People tend to hear one negative thing and it sticks with them for a very long time. Find ways to compliment people and talk about their strengths. Be positive and highlight the things that they are doing well.
There are a lot of great messages to take away from reading this article. Think about your own use of words. Do you need to make changes to build stronger relationships? What is the message that you want to send to people? Remember in every interaction that you have, you are creating your own self-portrait.