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The Magic of Words

Someone once pointed out that I don’t say “please” often enough; I’m not sure I agree with them. I use the words “Please, thank you and sorry” regularly but for this friend, it didn’t feel sincere enough.  Words matter!  Expressions matter too. I was recently told I was very “stoic” and that my facial expressions gave nothing away. Good for poker, probably not so good during a serious conversation with a friend or colleague!


I started to think —word choice is very powerful. The words we use can make or break our connections. They’re like social glue or, in some cases, repellent. I recently read a study whose results showed that between two groups performing the same function, one group was overwhelmingly more effective.  The only difference was that the more effective group showed their appreciation by starting with the words “I am very grateful…” whereas the other group used “thank you”.  This simple change of phrase conveyed personal appreciation.  So much more powerful than a perfunctory “thank you”.  I’m starting to see my friends point. 😊


I’ve also realized that communication style can be just as important as word choice, and together getting them both right is an incredible superpower. Consider that in the office: using acronyms and buzz words can show that you are part of the tribe, but in a mixed or different crowd the jargon may not translate for everyone, and more straightforward dialogue may be better. Often, when we speak in simple terms, it’s easier to gain consensus and to build trust.


So, there you have it. Words matter, communication style matters!  The words we select can help us connect, build trust and relationships more quickly, or cause us to fall flat.  Words are our secret tools; with a little mindfulness, we can select words and communication styles that can enhance our image, build trust and maybe even spark joy.


It’s not rocket science, but it might just make your social life take off like a rocket! Let’s keep the conversation rolling, shall we?  And remember, if you have a poker like resting face, using a little humor to soften it goes a long way!


“Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you may stick with someone else for a lifetime.” – Rachel Wolchin


Have a great weekend.