Five words that make a big difference

Conquering through Negotiating
July 18, 2013
Conquer it by Committing to it.
December 13, 2013
Do you know the power of your words to transform negativity?
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The world is infested with negativity. Crabbing, complaining and grousing. Sour attitude, nitpicking and cynicism. It’s like an ooze that permeates our world. It’s everywhere. And its a poison. YOU can speak optimism and favor to counter that ooze. You can be the remedy to this ill. 

About 25 years ago, I had a boss at NASA who was the ultimate glass-half-full person. He was the most positive, cheerful and upbeat guy I’d ever met. He was always complimenting his staff, finding the silver lining, and focusing on the good. At the time, we thought he was a little over the top, but looking back, I realize how powerful his approach was to me. His positive attitude often transformed our negative culture, and infused a much-needed spurt of benevolence into our sour world.  Duh. Does it take a rocket scientist to figure that out? Apparently so.

I confess, I struggle with being a negative person. I’m quick to find the flaw, the error, or the problem. I make myself crazy because I don’t want to be negative. I’d much rather be positive because it’s more fun, and the contrast to a negative world is often more welcomed.  But it’s a constant disciplined effort to chose to be positive. To be the glass-half-full person, instead of dirty-cup-half-empty-with-something-gross person requires ongoing commitment.

One thing I’ve tried, and have found to be really effective, is to become more intentional with my words when I speak to others. I try to be tuned into their struggle, their fear, their concerns. I want to speak directly to their heart in a way that lifts them up, regardless of circumstances. In fact, sometimes all it takes is just 5 words! Here’s a list of 5 word phrases that can make a dramatic difference in your conversations. Use them, and you will drop a gift of positivity into a cesspool of negativity, and transform the mood. Guaranteed. Try it.

5 words that can make a big difference

You’re right for this job.

I can depend on you.

You are special to me.

What would you rather do?

That is a great idea.

Thank you for doing that.

That must have been hard.

I can live with that.

Let us agree to disagree.

I was wrong. I’m sorry.

Let’s try it your way.

How can I help you?

I am proud of you.

You are good at that.

I can see you’re frustrated (or mad, scared, hurt, confused, or …)

How can we work together?

It’s okay. I don’t mind.

Whichever you chose is okay.

Tell me more about that.

I’m here to help you.

 

Maureen Zappala
Maureen Zappala
Maureen is the founder of High Altitude Strategies. She’s an ex-NASA propulsion engineer, turned professional speaker and author. She’s a semi-regular contributor to the monthly Toastmaster magazine. And paradoxically, is co-writing a book about Ohio State Football history, (despite being a graduate of U of Notre Dame). Go Bucks. Go Irish. Go figure.

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