Monday, October 13, 2014



The power of language. Do we really understand how powerful words are? You can change realities with words, for the better or the worse. You can change your perceptions or that of those around you. The best thing about language is that if you feel that you have no power or control in your life, you’re wrong. You have the power of language, and if used correctly, you can get a lot of what you want in this life.

The catch is, if you can use words to be kind, sell yourself or become successful, you can also use words to hurt others and yourself. The focus today is on how spoken words can hurt you. Your language can weaken you. It can show your fears, lack of confidence or make you a victim unnecessarily. Here are a few tips on how to avoid weakening yourself, credibility and success through language:


1.  By starting out sentences with “I think” and “I feel” you instantly take away credibility from what you are saying. You have turned what you know into an opinion. This can minimize your credibility. In business, often leading comments with feelings can weaken your position. This is because you are putting the focus onto you and your feelings/emotions, when the focus should be on the point that you are trying to make.

Don’t say: “I think we need to start looking into that.”

Do say: “Let’s look into that.”

Don’t say:I feel that is best check into group rates.”

Do say: “I (or the team) will begin checking into group rates.”


2. You also can weaken yourself by making other people seem better than you. As you make others around you seem to have more credibility or experience, you not only lose authority (even if you only have a little) in the eyes of others, but you also convince yourself of this, too. Here is where your language can begin to diminish your confidence.

Don’t say: “I know you have much more experience in this area, but I read some of the documents and we could submit to XYZ”

Do say: “After reviewing the documents I noticed that we could submit to XYZ.”


3. You can also weaken your credibility through language by defending what you have worked for. If someone admires or comments on the work you have done, thank them instead of letting them know how hard you have worked. If you have Ph.D, if you completed research, if you wrote a book, if you received a promotion, people already know that you worked for it. You don’t have to remind them. Just thank them.

Don’t say--In reply to ‘Wow you really have a lot of credential behind your name’: “I worked really hard to get where I am.”

Do say--In reply to ‘Wow you really have a lot of credential behind your name’: “Thank you.”


4. Language can weaken you if you apologize all time. By always being sorry for things, you are taking blame for a lot of faults that happen during the day, even ones that you have nothing to do with. With one (Sorry) or two (I’m sorry) little words you can literally make yourself a victim. Being a victim minimizes your authority, power and control in situations; characteristics that might be seen in a leader or confident individual.

Don’t say:

Boss to You about another co-worker:  “Jeannie did not send out the file again.”

You to Boss: “I’m sorry.”

Do say:

Boss to you about another co-worker:  “Jeannie did not send out the file again.”

You to boss: “I will shoot her over and email and remind her.”


This week your challenge is to identify one area in your life in which you use language that can weaken you. Then, implement a new way to use language to convey your strengths.


 Dr. Jaime Kulaga is the author of Type "Superwoman: Finding the LIFE in Work-Life Balance - A Self-Searching Book for Women". She is the inspirational founder of the nationally known SuperWoman Workshops. Dr. Kulaga has been featured in Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, Glamour, Self and Prevention magazines as well as the national show Daytime for her expertise in Work-Life Balance.



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