Words we speak, words we don’t say out loud and words we put in writing, they all matter.
I would like to address the ‘actions speak louder than words’ elephant in the room. Actions are important, no question. Couldn’t agree more.
|“Action speaks more powerfully than words, but when you use words as your actions, you probably won’t stop talking.” “When all is said and done, more is always said than done.” “People may not tell you how they feel about you, but they always show you. Pay attention.” http://elitedaily.com|
That said, what about words?
Words we say out loud matter
Words can lift us up. Words can comfort us in difficult times. Words can make us feel understood.
Words can cut like a knife. Words can erode our self-esteem. Words can be a form of abuse.
Words are often the weapon of choice for a bully.
Words can inform. Words can teach. Words can foster understanding.
Words can express joy or disappointment.
Words can encourage. Words can discourage.
Words are open to interpretation of the receiver.
Words can be fact-based or totally fiction.
Words can lead or mislead.
Words can ask for forgiveness and words can forgive.
Words can get you hired. Words can get you fired.
Words communicate our thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
Words are a verbal expression of who we are.
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Yehuda Berg
Words we don’t say matter
A look or a sigh can express as much as any number of words strung together.
A smile, a squinty eyed glare, the lift of an eyebrow, a comforting touch on the arm all speak volumes.
Silence may be the appropriate response. Silence can hang in the air like a thick fog.
Gestures can represent s specific word or a general feeling.
Non-verbal clues reveal our intention.
A non-response can be a powerful response.
Good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, be it personal or professional. It’s important to recognize, though, that it’s our nonverbal communication—our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice—that speak the loudest. Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., Greg Boose, and Jaelline Jaffe, Ph.D. Last updated: October 2016. http://www.helpguide.org/
Commonly used statistics
- Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message
- Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message
- Body Language accounts for 55% of the overall message
The words we say and the words we don’t say matter.
There is no such thing as, “It’s just words.”