Words are extremely powerful. A person who doesn’t work with words might not know that but all the people starting from marketers and ending with writers understand just how much the word choice matters. By choosing the right words you are able to motivate people, to provoke them, to persuade, and so on. You can use the powerful verbs for your resume to make a better impression on the recruiters. You can also boost sales by putting certain words into an ad. The opportunities are literally almost limitless.
However, in this article, I want to focus on the words that are used at work. Though we all know that it is important to keep employees motivated and inspired (especially during the long tiring projects), not all of us actually understand how to do that. Here’s how words can help you encourage and inspire your workers a bit more.
1. Call them by their names
It might seem like an insignificant detail but actually addressing a person by their name makes everything you’re saying more personal. It also tells them that you actually remember their names (which sometimes could be a challenge, especially when you work with many people).
By using names you show your employees that they are important to you, that their name is worth remembering. But what’s even better is that also helps to make them feel more self-confident.
2. Focus on what you can rather than on what you cannot do.
Obviously, people don’t like hearing “No” – but not only because their request won’t be fulfilled but also because it is often perceived as an unfriendly behavior. Even you aren’t able to fulfill their request at the moment, try choosing another word – for example, “let me see what I can do to help you”. This way you’ll make a positive impact even if it turns out that you haven’t been able to help in the end.
Use this strategy not only when you have to decline someone’s offer. You might be surprised but it can also do wonders with your employees’ motivation. For example, instead of saying “your teamwork is bad”, say “you worked so hard to complete this project and I appreciate that. I hope that you’ll be able to perform effectively in a team too”.
3. “You” matters more than “I”.
When you’re saying “I”, “Me”, “Mine” all the time it seems that you’re too focused on yourself and your own goals, not paying much attention to the other people needs. It could make a bad impression even in a company of friends, not saying about work surroundings.
People always want to know what’s in there for them. Why you replace “my goals” with “our goals”, the employees usually start feeling more included and so involved. They could be interested in the project more if you explain them why could it matter for them and how could it benefit them.
4. Remember the “three A” rule.
There are three simple words that could affect your employees greatly. Even if you skip the previous tips and start using only this one, you’ll already be able to feel a drastic difference. Mostly because that when you have to watch your language all the time, settling with three specific words could sometimes be easier than adjusting your whole lexicon.
These three magic words are: ask, acknowledge, apreciate.
Let’s start with ask. If you start asking people something instead of simply ordering them to do it, you’ll look more friendly to them. A request is often completed more eagerly than a command: the employees feel like they are able to make a decision here, not simply to follow your orders.
Acknowledgment matters a lot too. Sometimes people quit their jobs not because the salary is not enough or the work itself is too tiring but because they want their bosses and team leaders to actually credit them for doing something. Moreover, acknowledgment itself can boost employees’ motivation greatly.
However, while acknowledgment allows employees to understand that they were noticed, it’s the appreciation that helps them make the most out of their duties. Sure, if the appreciation is followed with some kind of bonus, that’s a good thing – however, sometimes the appreciation itself is enough.
That’s why if you try adding these three magic words to your dictionary and using them with your employees, you’ll probably notice the positive changes really quickly.
Sure, using the right, powerful words isn’t easy. Not all of us are used to using them in everyday life, not even saying about work, and old habits do die hard. However, hopefully, these tips will help you focus on the most important words and increase your employees’ motivation with their help.
Charles is a career mentor, motivational speaker & human resources consultant with over 10 years of experience in HR sector. Apart from career mentoring, he loves photography and football. Find him on Linkedin Twitter, Facebook & Google+.
Positive Words Research – Words And Phrases That Inspire, Motivate, And Persuade At Work