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Positive Language

Positive Language  I wonder if you could, if its not too  I could possibly, may-be, I sup-
much trouble. pose I could, might, I should.
1. Common words/phrases.
 Eliminate conditional phrases.  Change these words and project
We use most of our words subcon- Instead say, I need 5 minutes from more reliability by using more definite
sciously. So the trick to becoming you. When are you free? language, I can, I will.
more effective and feeling more
confident is to listen to our words and  I like the sound of your letter, but
make some small changes. Remember theres a lot of spelling mistakes. 2. Outcomes of introducing more
people will very quickly make a positive language.
judgement about you, triggered by the  Avoid buts as it often overalls the
words you use. most important part of your sentence. By changing some of our words, we
Instead use and, although or a full can achieve more positive results with
Here are some words that you might stop. I like the sound of your letter. If others.
hear and some suggested alternatives. you ran a spell check it would pick up
a number of errors. Here are some of the enhanced skills
 Ive been really lucky. you will experience by introducing
 It always happens to me. more positive language.
 Its not down to luck. Our actions
and decisions are based on careful  Avoid universal terms such as Ask open questions.
thought, planning and hard work, not always and everything. Especially
luck. Say, Ive worked hard to achieve when criticising yourself or others.  Creates the opportunity for greater
this result. Instead use sometimes or occasionally. involvement in discussions.

 Ill try to get your report done by  Im afraid I cant attend that meet- Whats the best way to do it?
Friday, if I possibly can. ing.
Acknowledge others contributions.
 Remove try as it suggests you cant  Take out Im afraid from your conver-
be relied upon. Make a commitment sation. Instead be direct. Although I  They give credit where it is due, to
and say, I will do it by Friday. cant attend your meeting, I can send themselves and others and it creates a
along a deputy. motivating atmosphere.
 Ill have to reschedule my diary to
do it.  I wish I was that thin. I value your opinion.

 Communicate positive expectations,  Dont wish for something. Set an Speaks clearly, decisively and
I will alter my schedule to do it. achievable goal and phrase it in a posi- precisely.
tive framework. I can be that thin if I
 I could never do that. exercise regularly and eat sensibly.  Statements are made assertively
and precisely with no conditions.
 Dont put limitations on what you can  I couldnt do what she does.
achieve. I can do that, I havent done Not, I tend to think that, instead, I
it yet.  Avoid self-limiting phrases and believe that, my view is..
instead project positive expectations -
 Ive got so many problems, I dont I havent tried that yet and I can. Focus on behaviour not personality.
know where to start.
 To be honest I dont know the  If you focus on personality it will
 Rephrase the negative word prob- answer. have an impact on their self-image and
lems and instead use challenge, it will they will live down to your expecta-
feel better.  Avoid using to be honest, as it sug- tions. Focus on their behaviours that
gests that youve not been truthful in are changeable.
 Ive spent two hours at that the past. Be direct and honest all the
seminar. time. Thats a good question, I dont Not, Youre bad. Instead, That
 Spend suggests waste, loss, know the answer. Ill come back to behaviour is inappropriate.
exhaustion. Rephrase using invest you.
that produces a positive return. Effectively gains co-operation from
 Im only his assistant, so youll others.
 Its impossible, it just cant be done have to excuse me.
by then.  Through the use of positive lan-
 Only and just suggest limitations and guage others are influenced without
 Concentrate on what you can do, project low expectations. Dont make feeling compromised.
not what you cant do. Instead say, I excuses, instead reframe sentences
can do it by Friday. more positively and project higher If we chose that option, how would
expectations. you want to manage it?
Joint problem-solving. albeit a subconscious act.  Instead focus on learning, improv-
ing and accepting that something
 Invite people to make choices and Here are some examples of negative hasnt gone as well as you hoped.
enter into joint problem-solving rather and positive thoughts and the impact Instead see setbacks as temporary
forcing your opinion. they can have on personal effective- and say, Im going to make things
ness. better from now.
Weve two options. Which one do
think will work best?  Thinking, I cant do that.  Feeling that you are a loser and
that you always fail.
Take ownership and responsibility.  The self-fulfilling prophecy states,
If you tell yourself you cant, you  Think and act positively when
 Positive communicators will recog- wont. If you tell yourself you can, youre at a low point. Look for les-
nise when they are at fault, take deci- you will. We will live up or down to sons to improve the way you do
sive action and wont pass-the-buck. our expectations. things. Next time I come across
that, I will.
I take full responsibility for the error.  Thinking, I always mess up. I can
Please accept my apologies. I will never do anything right. A couple of days before he was
issue a revised letter immediately. assassinated, M. Gandhi said:
 Dont focus on negative outcomes.
Deal positively with conflict or Learn from mistakes and see them as Keep my words positive. Words
confrontation. positive experiences. I could have become my behaviours. Keep my
done better and next time I will behaviours positive. Behaviours
 Ability to diffuse a situation by become my habits. Keep my habits
using phrases within a model called  Its their fault it went wrong, not positive, because my habits become
the appreciation frame. mine. my values. Keep my values positive,
because my values become my des-
I agree, and  Positive communicators will take tiny. There is no dress rehearsal.
I appreciate, and responsibility for their actions and not This is one day in our life.
I understand, and blame others. I realise that the para-
graph was misleading. I apologise So look for ways you can make
Give feedback effectively. for the error. changes to the words you use. You
will then become more positive, feel
 Understand the need for construc-  Mr Jones always makes me feel more confident and achieve more
tive feedback and praise to support so unconfident. successful results.
 No one has the ability to make you
I really value the effort you are put- feel anything. We are responsible for
ting into your letters. I would like to our own thoughts and feelings. I feel
work with you some more on enhanc- awkward when you say that to me.
ing your grammar.
 I can never do anything right.
Seek opportunities for self-improve-
ment.  The power of positive thought can
have a terrific impact on your behav-
 Positive communicators will focus iours. I can change the way I do
on what they can learn from a situa- things, I choose to make the best of
tion. the situation.

I could have handled that customer  If only I hadnt said that to her,
more effectively. Next time I will What if I had..
practise saying no.
__________________________  Effective communicators will think
about doing things better in the future
3. Thoughts shape our words & rather than focusing on bad things
actions that have happened in the past.

Research conducted in America Rather than thinking what if, they will
states that people understand a posi- focus their energy on problem-solving
tively framed phrase 1/3 quicker than and making the situation better.
a negative version.
 Saying to themselves, Things are
If we think positively, then we are getting worse, they are always going
more likely to convey effective mes- wrong.
sages and thereby behave positively,