A client referred to me as a "word nerd" recently, which as a Communication Specialist, I took to be a compliment!
I believe language is the key that can make or break how effective our message is. "Mind your Language" is a great piece of advice, really mind
Think about it. Think about the effect it has on you and then on those around you as you use it. It's one of my passions for my clients that they really "get" how important it is.
A few years ago, I read an article by John La Valle http://www.purenlp.com/
and John is, I believe, a true word-nerd. A real wizard with the use of language and the difference it makes. He wrote an article about changing our New Year's Resolutions and swapping them for New Year's Evolutions.
Every year when someone asks me "so Kay, are you making any New Year's Resolutions?" I take John's advice and tell them "yes, but I make New Year's Evolutions".
Think about the word Resolution
- looking in my trusty Mac dictionary, it means "a firm decision to do or not to do something. The action of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter."
When you pull it apart, re-solution becomes a solution, redone. You know when you say it there's a bit of resistance there. Something you should
be doing vs something you want
to do. Something you've tried to do before and are trying to do again.
It's so common to make a resolution to eat less, exercise more, spend less, save more, work less, be with family more (sometimes the opposite
). You get the idea, though.
Now, think about the word Evolution
- When you think of planning and committing to New Year's Evolutions, there's a different feel, a different energy about them with that word. Again, from my trusty Mac dictionary "Evolution - the gradual development of something. Current senses stem from a notion of "opening out" and "unfolding" giving a rise to a general sense of development".
Now with the word Evolution (remember, we only tweaked 2 letters) there's a more forward motion to it, more of a sense of "Ok, for where I am now
and for how I've developed now
and what I want in my life now
, this is what I want for 2011".
Try putting down 5 New Year's Evolutions
for yourself and before you do, take a moment with these 5 steps to think about how you are "opening out", "unfolding" and "developing".
- Think about how your life was 2 years ago - at the beginning of 2009 - then think about what's going on now and how things have evolved for you.
- What are the major changes that have happened? (pssst - there will be some major changes, I promise you. It's one of the few things we can guarantee in life, that things change. We choose how we respond to those changes.)
- Next consider what's happening in each of these areas of your life - home / work / relationships /career / finances and ask yourself "what do I want to have more of AND less of in these areas now?"
- Here's where your "New Year's Evolutions" start to form. From where you are now, for the person you are now, for what you're doing now.
- Put down the following words and then finish the sentence at least 5 times "For what I want now, in 2011 I will....".
So, with two letters tweaked your Resolutions have become your 2011 Evolutions. Interestingly, popping an R
in front of them will change them even more dramatically- but that's another story.
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Article reproduced with permission of Kay White, Communication Specialist and Mentor at www.wayforwardsolutions.com
. Kay shows professionals how to be understood. Get quicker, faster and better results by becoming a more effective, influential and savvy communicator - everywhere in your life.
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