On the surface, most hospitals more or less look the same, don’t they? And yet, somehow they just feel different, whether from hospital to hospital or even just ward to ward. Think about that a little bit: even two hospitals with the same sterile walls and chaotic hustle-bustle can feel entirely distinct from each other, just based on the vibes you get from the staff attending to your care. Are the nurses and doctors walking around tensely, taking down every measurement just right but leaving you feeling cold, in the dark, or not quite cared for? Or are they doing that same accurate medical work, but with a sense of human connection and genuine joyfulness that not only makes you feel like you’re in safe hands, but brightens your spirits and pushes you to keep moving forward towards recovery? That’s the difference that organizational culture can bring to even the most otherwise-competent healthcare facility.
If words can shape our attitude, ask yourself this: “Is my attitude helping my team or my customers? Is it helping me to be the person I want to be?” Be the spark, the living invitation. With your words. Because they matter. Scientific American spoke with Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist at the University of California, San Diego, about why words matter and how language changes our perceptions of the world. “Words have power. If I tell you this hamburger is 80% lean as opposed to 20% fat, then in some sense I am communicating the same thing. But what people get from those two communications is very different: People perceive the 80% lean hamburger as much healthier than the 20% fat option. By choosing how you frame and talk about something, you are cuing others to think about it in a specific way. We can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something.”
“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter) wrote that in the mid-1800’s, but he certainly recognized the power of words. The weight of words. How they make us feel, about ourselves, and the world around us. Words can fuel hopes and dreams. Or extinguish them. Words can excite, inspire, elate, sadden, frighten, or anger us. What you say matters. It shapes your environment. Your work. Your life. Words at work Whether we physically go into an office or workplace setting, or work remotely, the fact is most of us spend more hours at work than we do with friends or family. And it’s only natural to want that time to be the happiest – and most productive – it can possibly be.