21 Mar Coaching Wisdom Four
Speak Empowering Language
This is a series of seven articles from my book, Calling Forth Greatness. I hope you enjoy these Coaching Wisdom s and that you will use them to transform your life.
“Language is power. When we speak, we exercise the power of language to transform reality.” —Julia Penelope
A coach uses empowering language and helps clients raise awareness of their language, so they can transform their reality.
The words we use express our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Our thoughts, feelings and attitude drive our actions. Coaches know that words are clues that identify underlying beliefs and attitudes that may be blocking the client from achieving positive results. Words combined with sound (voice) are energy vibrations that affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally. They have the inherent capacity to give energy or take energy away.
- Empowering language is responsible, powerful, and energizing!
- Dis-empowering language is powerless. When we think it and speak it, we diminish ourselves and others.
“Dis-empowering language keeps us sick and weak.” —Carolyn Myss
Take care to use empowering, energizing, inspiring language when speaking to yourself as well as with others. Negative self-talk can diminish your ability to make positive changes or breakthrough to new levels of success and fulfillment.
What you say and how you say it impacts your experience, whether verbally or in writing. Language has an impact not only on a mental level, but also at other subtle levels. Your words can convey underlying messages to your subconscious, evoking physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual implications.
My client Robert was frustrated because he was not making progress toward his goal of finishing his first year in business with a 10% profit. At the same time he was speaking language like “I should make more cold calls.” When I challenged Robert to make a commitment to an action, he would respond with, “probably” or “maybe I will.” When he talked about his relationship with his business partner, he would point his finger and use “blame” language, like “He always makes me_____.” I offered Robert feedback that his walk and his talk didn’t match. In other words, it was the same as driving his car toward his goal with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake.
Any word or phrase that implies lack of freedom tends to feel dis-empowering, such as “have to,” “should,” “can’t,” “will not,” etc. That language invites a feeling of victimization, which is then reinforced by more dis-empowering language.
Practice Using Empowering Language
Use language such as “I choose to,” I intend to,” “I will,” “It’s important to me to,” etc. Avoid absolutes, such as “always,” and “never.” Avoid “I’ll try.” Instead, it is more powerful to declare what you will do.
Speak in “I” language when sharing your experience. Connect with and share your own experience versus speaking in generalities using “you” language. For example, “When I have an insight, I feel lighter,” versus “When you have an insight you feel lighter.” People listening to your story will be more engaged.
Language is a powerful, creative force. We have the opportunity to create what we want more of, beginning with our thoughts. We construct our fortunes and misfortunes with the thoughts we choose to think.
“Impulses of energy and information that we experience as thoughts…are the raw material of the universe.”
—Deepak Chopra, MD
Inquiry: What is my intended impact of what I am thinking or saying?
“Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?” —Shirdl Sai Baba, Indian Saint