living your values, managing your speech, putting your life in Divine Order, self-awareness, ten different ways to say something, tough conversations, using mindfulness, using self-awareness in your speech, using your words
“I have no idea what I’m going to do tomorrow,” security guard Larry Daly complains in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”
Teddy Roosevelt smiles and replies, “How exciting.”
The September series, Set the Tone, has been looking at rebooting your life by tying your beliefs, feelings, speech and actions together. It sounds simple enough, but the disconnect was displayed in technicolor during the NFL’s opening day. Players had nothing but positive beliefs in pre-season. But after a few bad mistakes on the field, emotions spiraled downward and sidelines chatter immediately turned into trash talk.
Author and attorney Lisa Bloom explores the power of words in her article, “How to Talk to Little Girls.” When Lisa met 5-year old Maya, she resisted her urge to comment on Maya’s cuteness. Instead, she focused on intellect and curiosity.
Lisa mentioned how much she loved books. Maya lit up, telling Lisa that she could read by herself. She rushed to her bookshelf to find her favorite.
Lisa writes, “Purplicious was Maya’s pick and a new one to me. As Maya snuggled next to me on the sofa and proudly read aloud every word about our heroine who loves pink but is tormented by a group of girls at school who only wear black. Alas, it was about girls and what they wore, and how their wardrobe choices defined their identities. But after Maya closed the final page, I steered the conversation to the deeper issues in the book: mean girls and peer pressure and not going along with the group. I told her my favorite color in the world is green because I love nature, and she was down with that.”
Maya’s conversation with someone else could have been completely different. Imagine statements like, “Purplicious? That’s silly.” “What other books do you have?” “Let me help you choose something else.” The quiet negativity in those words could have eaten away at Maya’s self-esteem rather than encouraging her.
“My father used to say that there are 10 different ways to say anything, and I think he’s right. Phrases like “miserable”, “unhappy”, “fed up,” “ready to leave,” and “need to go” are not helpful when you’re talking to your colleagues, bosses or HR staff. Talk about what you’re great at and love to do, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re ready for. Your employer might very well be able to sponsor and support your growth and change, but it won’t happen if you stomp in and say, “I’m miserable and it’s your fault.””
Listen to the words you’ve been using and find 10 different ways to say something. Is your speech charming and lighthearted like Lisa Bloom or hopeless and self-doubting like Larry Daly? Allow your words to be energetic and encouraging – that’s irresistible!
Are you going to stretch this week and change the narrative? How exciting.