Language plays a central role in defining and constructing the meaning in the world. It’s the fuel to empower our desires and to direct and align our energy.
Language has immense power, and its impact is totally dependent on how we use it.
Mostly, words are so often used automatically and unconsciously that we have learned to treat them lightly. Language has the potential to create and transform our lives if we realize that we would pay a great deal of attention to our speaking.
This article will help you with tips to utilize language for self-empowerment and in empowering others.
Topics covered are -
1. Language for Personal Empowerment
- Use Positive Language
- Use Active Language
- Use Words to Define Your Own Space and Identity
2. Language for Empowering Others
- Avoid using jargon or complex terminology
- Use common/most used words
- Choose positive words
- Avoid criticism and negativity
- Use open questions when appropriate
Language for Personal Empowerment
Use Positive Language:
Studies have shown that a person’s self-image is reflected in the words that they use. Negative thoughts narrow down our mind and cut off other options and possibilities. It prevents us from noticing or recalling the positive aspects of the moment. According to research, people who say they “should” behave in a way which implies passivity and can detract from them seeming to be in control and taking responsibility from their actions. Talking about ourselves in a motivating, positive way and acknowledging strengths and weakness can be very empowering.
Use Active Language:
Avoid making vague statements. Try to use terms which only imply positive actions rather than getting negative statements. Positive terms bring happiness and a sense of self-confidence which keeps you motivated towards your goals. Especially when you are talking about the future, emphasize statements like, ‘I will..’, ‘I can…’.
Use Words to Define Your Own Space and Identity:
You should always be aware of your values and goals. Never give the command of your thoughts to someone else, do not let others define you. Avoid getting into a situation when you are unable to define your own space and identity.
Situations where you are unable to define yourself, others will tend to define you and set standards by which you will evaluate yourself. In such a situation you will function based on their commands and demands.
Language for Empowering Others
Language can open the new doors of opportunity for someone, at the same time it can disempower people by causing them to doubt themselves. Below are the points which will emphasize how you can use language to empower others.
Avoid using jargon or complex terminology
The use of jargon and complex terminology in your conversation can be both- disinteresting and disempowering. When you are working for others, or you are working with others, the usage of jargons can be upsetting and it can bring the feeling of inferiority.
Without a common understanding of the words, you are using in your conversation will only bring confusion, no way it will work towards empowering others. It’s essential to choose your words carefully. Until you are providing the clarity to what you are trying to express, empowerment can’t be achieved.
Use common/most used words
Emphasis the words which people use most. Using region, area-based terminology can enable you to appear more ‘in tune’ with the other person and what they are saying. It also makes people comfortable, they can relate more on to your words and thoughts.
Choose positive words
Positive words not only motivate you towards achieving your goal but if used while addressing others will create positive actions in others. Using words or statement which carry responsibility brings empowerment, as they suggest a determined rather than a passive approach.
Avoid criticism and negativity
Criticism should be the last step in the process of empowerment. It should be done in terms of the awakening of an individual rather than demoralizing. Criticism should be done with absolute care because once words have been spoken they cannot be easily taken back. Try to frame the criticism in a constructive way, put more positive and supportive words and phrases in your statements. Supporting criticism with positive observations will help in better understanding.
Use open questions when appropriate
Close-ended questions restrict responses, at the same time they bring a feeling of powerlessness. These questions don’t provide an opportunity to explain their response. On the other hand, open questions give the chance to explore the reason behind every answer. It encourages the person involved to take responsibility for their own thoughts and actions, resulting in empowerment. Open-ended questions also provide an opportunity to understand and solve the problems.