I have come to realized how important words are in life.

Not just poetry and prose, but simple one or two-word phrases that can stop a conversation dead in its tracks and build mistrust.

I am not a word nerd, but words are significant and I try my best to use them as precisely.

There are words used incorrectly:

  • Adverse and averse
  • Affect and effect
  • Led and lead
  • I.e. and e.g.

There are made up words & phrases:

  • It is ‘all intents and purposes’ not ‘all intensive purposes’
  • It is ‘enunciate’ not ‘annunciate.’
  • It is ‘Espresso” not ‘Expresso.’
  • It is ‘Cabinet’ not ‘Cabnit.’
  • It is ‘Nuclear’ not ‘nucular.’

Some words that kill trust

Some words that kill trust and will lead to an unhealthy workplace culture.

‘Yeah but’ … this tells the listener that you don’t care

‘You don’t understand’ … this causes the listener to feel that they are being disdained

‘With a bit more experience’ … dismisses youth and enthusiasm

‘I appreciate your comments’ … this tells the listener thanks, but you think he is an idiot

Phrases like ‘It’s not in the budget,’ or ‘that’s not according to policy’ … means you are blowing the person off because you haven’t even thought about it

‘Five-year strategic plan’ … means blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

They say sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

But words hurt.

Words cut to the core faster than a knife.

Causing wounds can take forever to heal.

Our people are watching and listening to everything we say, ergo (and I use that word correctly) leaders must be very precise with the words we choose and apply them judiciously & thoughtfully.

In World War II they said ‘loose lips sink ships’; in our world, loose lips can sink Culture.

One thought on “Can a simple word stop success?

  1. Steve love the “but” versus ‘and”. One of my college profs taught us the difference (and that was in the 1970’s!) and it has really stuck with me I use it all the time AND I suggest others use it.

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