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The weight of words in achieving performance



Words are important in every aspect of life, as they help people express their feelings, thoughts, opinions and ideas. Words need to be chosen carefully, since they might vex other people, have a negative influence on the outcome of a business proposal or negotiation, or on the more positive side of things, they can also be a consistent way to motivate, persuade and inspire others.

As some say, by using the right words, a person can change history.

Using conjunctions, words and phrases such as “and” instead of “but”, “Let me show you” instead of “Let me do that” and so forth, generates good vibes for your employees in the long run, motivating and encouraging them to improve their performance.

Positive or constructive words may not solve an issue altogether; however, they can help a person in delivering the right message to others. Even though there might be some disagreement during meetings, affirmative words allow employees to accept decisions and opinions much easier and quicker.

A  clear mind in the fog of conflict

Leaders should learn to use the proper words to help, motivate, engage and cheer the morale of his/her employees. Hurting people by using inappropriate wording can affect their work engagement and motivation.

Here are some cases in which we can see how good and positive communication changes a sub-optimal situation for the better and how it is possible for anyone to do that:

1. Conflicts between employees: a leader should know how to use the appropriate words when attempting to solve conflicts, as they need to make sure both parties hear each other out and understand each other’s point of view.

Using the right words when giving negative feedback, whilst trying to motivate conflicted individuals should go hand in hand with each other.

Oftentimes, is not easy for a leader to put in practice what he/she has read; however, this it is of utmost importance that they try their best, since this will yield a high motivational level for his/her employees.

2. Employee emotions flare: in some situations, the increased levels of frustration of some staff members may lead to ad hominem and in more serious cases, even the avoidance of other co-workers.

It cannot be understated how crucial it is for a leader to keep finding new methods of ensuring his members of staff work with each other and not against each other.

3. Employee idea clash: the number of ideas in circulation is almost equal to the number of individuals who hold them.

However, every employee thinks that his/her opinion is the best one, so each leader should take into consideration this aspect in order to respect their ideas, while possessing the knack to know which one is better for the current situation.

Furthermore, your arguments should always be based on facts and data, no mere opinions based on preferences.


Motivational and inspiring words can always push employees to strive to enhance their performance. Here are some suggestions on how to motivate, persuade and inspire co-workers:

A) Use “you” more frequently than “I”: in order to convince others that you are right about something, it is more useful to utilize words such as “you” and “your”, as they refer directly to the listener. “I”, “me”, “my” and “mine” are not so persuasive and may not have the same impact.

The audience wants to know how they can benefit directly from a situation, so don’t avoid this aspect.

B) Use names: a manager should learn the names of his/her employees, in order to approach them on a more personal level. In doing this, a leader can show just how important the other person is to him/her and the employee’s self-esteem will thus naturally receive a boost.

This will also portray the entrepreneur as a caring, thoughtful and empathetic person. Remember – don’t keep your personality for yourself, as it can be the key to improving your work relationships.

C) Appreciate, Acknowledge, Ask: employees need to feel that they are appreciated by their colleagues or managers. As such, remember to drop a few kind words of appreciation every now and then, to create a positive work environment and increase job satisfaction.

D) Cause-and-effect-phrases: people try to persuade others to buy a product, to accept ideas, beliefs, values, but they do not always know how to do that. One method to achieve this end is to use the cause-and-effect reasoning.

If people know exactly what the pros and cons of decision A or B are, in great detail, then they can make a more informed decision; this is also known as keeping people in the loop.

Furthermore on this point, if you do not know how to approach such a situation or how to start a conversation on this topic, here are some conjunctions and prepositions to help you out in this case: accordingly, as a result, because, caused by, consequently, due to, for this reason since, therefore, thus.

Another important aspect is to create a workplace mantra built around a maximum of two words. Managers should be responsible to choose the most appropriate words in describing the workplace, as these need to reflect the energy around the organization and who else can get a better feel of what’s going around than those in charge of managing it.

The mantra should be simple and easily internalized by your employees. Managers should always pay attention to the work atmosphere and try their best to generate a positive one from the get-go.

In conclusion, I believe that the right words can have a positive impact on an employee’s performance, no matter when they are used. Even negative feedback can be positive, if provided in a positive manner and can motivate people to better themselves.

Managers should constantly try their best to pay attention to an employee’s emotional responses and be able to adapt to each individual.

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