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Powerful language comes from a powerful belief in you!

Powerful language comes from a powerful belief in you!

Yes, it really is that simple.

What you believe to be true (whether it is true or not) influences the words you use on a consistent basis. If you don’t believe you are worthy of your position, if you don’t believe the targets really can be met, if you don’t believe in the talents of your team… it will come out subtly in the words you use.

Your words leave clues.  

They are a signpost to what you are thinking and what you believe. They influence your actions and behaviours and the response of those around you.

It is the smallest tweaks to your language that can make the biggest difference.

Here are 4 easy tweaks to communicate more powerfully

1. Believe in YOU. 

It all begins here. If you don’t believe in you, no one else will. Notice where you doubt yourself. And know that much of what you believe about yourself is complete bunkum!

Shifting your negative beliefs will automatically change the way you communicate and is absolutely the fastest way to tapping into your most powerful influencing abilities and being recognised for your impact.

2. Speak of what you want…. not what you don’t want. 

This helps to focus the mind to achieving a positive result rather than avoiding a negative result. Here are a couple of examples to get you started.

    • Don’t be late to today’s meeting → I’d appreciate you being on time (or early) for today’s meeting.
    • I hope I don’t mess up my presentation at the conference → I’m determined to present clearly and with unwavering confidence.
    • It’s important we don’t miss budget → Let’s focus this month in lifting sales and exceeding budget expectations.

3. Eliminate words that drag you down. 

Words have energy. Some are light and filled with possibility and some are heavy and block progress. The goal is to eliminate the words that are heavy and drag you down. My clients know that there are some words I don’t allow them to use!

I was speaking recently with a client who described “dreading” relocating to head up a different geographical region. After a brief discussion focusing on the positives associated with the move, she shifted her language around the move to it being a “huge opportunity for a fresh start with amazing people.” 

And with this change in language came a sense of excitement, possibility and energy.

4. Limit Negativity. 

Sometimes our language displays negativity or a lack of choice. If you are one of the many who fall into negative patterns with your words (happens to me too!), here’s a handy guide for reframing what comes out of your mouth so it’s empowering.

    • I can’t do it → I choose not to.
    • I really should → I would like to or I can.
    • I have to → I really want to.
    • I’ll give it a try → I will do this.

Simple tweaks can make a massive difference.

Which of these simple tweaks could you implement today that would have you communicating with more impact and influence?

And it starts with YOU. Change your beliefs, change your words, change your outcomes. Good luck!

LET'S CONNECT

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Why Aren’t You Being Promoted?

Why Aren’t You Being Promoted?

You’re a smart, intelligent woman. You are extremely loyal and reliable and you are good at your job.  You work hard and you have all the qualifications and experience needed to get promoted, so why is it that you keep getting passed over?

It used to be the guys with all the charisma and charm who play golf with the boss that would beat you to plumb jobs.  Now… you are loosing out to the bright young Gen Y’s who are full of energy and bravado.  At times it just doesn’t seem fair.

You have more than once asked yourself… what do I have to do to get promoted?

You may think that if you work harder, longer hours and say “yes” to everything that the boss asks for, you will finally get the notice and recognition you are longing for.  Surely you are next in line and deserve to be rewarded for your commitment and dedication. 

I am here to tell you … it just doesn’t work that way. 

The reasons why women continue to struggle to break into the senior leadership ranks of corporate Australia are many, varied and complex.  Just a few include the unconscious bias, blatant giving jobs to the boys, the challenges of juggling raising a family and managing a demanding career and the corporate systems and structures standing in the way of flexible family friendly working arrangements.     

And then there is you.  Yes, I know.  Sometimes this is a difficult one to swallow.

Research has shown some habits and behaviours, more commonly displayed by woman, negatively impact our likelihood of being the obvious choice or even considered for promotion. 

And the good news is… major change is not required.  

Through working with hundreds of women over the past 5 years I’ve seen that usually all that’s required are tiny tweaks to where we focus our time, energy and resources.

Lets make sure you are not getting in your own way by engaging in these career sabotaging workplace behaviours that will slow your career progression to a crawl or even have you become stuck, set in stone, at your current level.  I know that your career success and your need to be growing, contributing and making more of a difference means too much to you to allow that to happen. 

 

Here are 3 habits that may be getting in your way of promotion?

1.  You are not confidently displaying your skills, opinions and worth. Kitty Kay and Clare Shipman, co-authors of The Confidence Gap, show that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. 

Confidence talks.  If you are not confident in your own ability to deliver at the next level it will not matter how competent you are at your job, you will not get noticed or promoted. 

The good news is that with work, confidence can be acquired.  The first step is to start noticing the evidence that demonstrates that you are worthy of a more senior position (eg: the results you have achieved, your ability to manage your team to work cohesively together, you ability to solve the important business problems.)  Until YOU believe you are worthy, others will not. 

2.  You are not thinking strategically.  Let’s acknowledge that the many workplaces operate under a masculine paradigm and that the measures of success, generally speaking, are achievement of results, hitting financial targets and developing and delivering strategies for growth. 

If you want to be noticed and promoted you must be delivering on these success measures.  Many women (but of course not all) can become overly concerned with their own work and projects and fail to tap into, understand or contribute to the company vision, mission and strategy. 

A leadership study recently published in the Harvard Business Review scored women more highly than men on 16 key measures but there was one key measure that men scored more highly that stood out.  It was their ability to develop strategies and communicate them to people that mattered.

You must become a strategic thinker.  Your career will grow and expand once you flex your strategic muscle, think bigger and contribute more to the big picture of the business. 

3.  You think you need to do it alone.  Women are great connectors, communicators and collaborators … so why is it that so many women think that they need to prove that they can achieve career success alone? 

Prioritise time in your busy schedule to build strong, genuine relationships both within your organisation and externally.  Yes I hear you… you are too busy to spend time having coffee.  Trust me, it will be time well spent. 

Surround yourself with people who will support and help your growth, clear the pathway for opportunities to emerge and who will challenge you to strive for even more than you think is possible.

I heard recently that geese flying together in formation fly further and 75% faster  than geese flying alone.  Don’t be a lone goose… find some friends, trusted colleagues and partners to collaborate with and see what together you can achieve.

And remember it is not only who you know that is important… what is even more important is who knows what you know and what you want to achieve.  Your work will not speak for itself.  You must let people know what you are working on and the impact you are having.  Yes that’s right .. I am suggesting that you toot your own horn… in the nicest possible way. 

Now it is over to you.

Getting promoted can never be guaranteed but lets boost the odds by ensuring you are not sabotaging you efforts without even realising it. 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
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Our Words Can Empower Us … Or … Disempower Us

Our Words Can Empower Us … Or … Disempower Us

Imagine if by focusing in on changing just a couple of words in your every day communications with your team, colleagues and customers, you could have more influence, impact and achieve improved results.  

The fact of the matter is … you can! 

From the moment we learn to talk, we influence our environment, those around us and our outcomes through the power of our words.  We use words to express our joy, fear, happiness, anger, frustrations and our deepest desires. The words we use have the power to inspire and motivate or discourage and debilitate.

So let me make a little confession here… I am a bit of a stickler for the words we use.  Not because I am any sort of wordsmith or have a Masters in English Literature, but because I have seen the impact our choice of words has on the effectiveness of our communication and on how we feel

Most of us, most of the time are not aware of the words we use. I have more than once interrupted a conversation with a client to highlight disempowering language and provide guidance to find a more empowering way to express the thought or idea. 

One client put it most eloquently for me.  Changing the words she uses on a regularly basics (and eliminating others) has “changed the colour of my world.”  The way she expresses herself now is empowering and inclusive.  She has improved her interactions with her team. Her improved communication skills and relationships have contributed to recent outstanding sales results.

Our gift of language is a bit like breathing … most of the time what we say to ourselves and to others is unconscious and we are completely oblivious to how our words affect us. 

Many of the words we use come with an emotional charge.  

When we use words stacked with negative emotions we trigger a physiological flight or fight response.  This response was designed to help us flee from the scary wild beast… not manage the everyday trials and tribulations of the modern work environment. 

Here are 5 words that come with an emotional charge and are worth avoiding.  Eliminate these words… and notice the difference in how you feel and the response you receive from those around you. 

1. I’m Overwhelmed – Think for a moment how you feel when you say something like “I feel overwhelmed.”  There is a sense of hopelessness and impossibility. 

Now imagine replacing the word overwhelmed with “I’m a bit busy” or “I have a challenging schedule” or “I am prioritising a heavy work load right now.”  The energy around the statement is lighter and it is filled with more possibly. 

2.  I’m Angry – To say you are “angry” about a situation such as an error made by one of your team members or a missed timeline on a project brings with it an emotional intensity.  Sometimes it is warranted and productive but most of the time to language the emotion we are feeling as anger will only heighten the emotion and could, in fact, intensify the situation.

Now imagine changing the description of your emotion to “being annoyed”, “disappointed” or “frustrated.”  It doesn’t mean you don’t feel angry but by changing the word you will minimise the intensity of the situation, giving you more chance of achieving an amicable resolution.

3. It’s Hard – When we say something is hard, it gives the impression that it is almost impossible to achieve.  When we replace it with the word “challenging” it gives the task or situation a greater sense of possibility and even a sense of excitement. 

4. I’ll Try – To try to do something presupposes failure and gives a sense of an attempt only and, in my view, is a bit of cop out! In the words of Yoda “Do or not do. There is no try.”  

5. I’m OK – when someone asks you how are you doing, instead of saying “fine” or “OK”, ramp up the emotional dial and say something like “I feel fabulous” or “I’m sensational!”  As simplistic as this sounds, it creates a new pattern in your neurology and you will receive a quick injection of happy hormones. 

Now it is your turn.  What words do you use on a consistent basis which are disempowering or negatively impact your emotions? 

If you don’t like the results you are getting, take a look at the words you are using and choose to be more selective.  Choose to select words that empower you and engage others.  Break old patterns and create new resourceful patterns that help you manage your emotions and have you noticed as a powerful communicator.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

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Yes! I’m going there.

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Jane Benston