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.
“Try to make someone’s day today,” Doug called after his daughter, as she kissed him goodbye before heading toward the school building. “I will!” she called back, glancing over her shoulder. As Doug drove his car away and headed to work, he reminded himself to also “make someone’s day.” For him, finding simple ways to create excitement for his team helped them become more effective in their individual roles and responsibilities. This idea of “making someone’s day,” is all about choosing the right attitude before you get out of bed each morning. Whether you’re a parent, a department manager, or both, the type of attitude you choose to portray and nurture will have a significant impact on those around you.