The Advisory Career

Understanding the Weight of Words in the Workplace

3 ways words work wonders in elevating professional performance

by Jennifer Powers

Ms. Powers, MCC is an international speaker, executive coach, author of the best-selling book “Oh, shift!,” and host of the fun and binge-worthy “Oh, shift!” podcast. Since founding her speaking practice, Jennifer has worked with hundreds of professionals and delivered powerful keynote addresses to over 250,000 people around the globe. For more information on bringing Jennifer Powers to your next event, please visit

You can create an awesome shift in your business or professional career right now. One of the easiest ways to do that is with your words. Yes. Words. Your words have a direct influence over your results. All. The. Time.

  • Tell yourself you’ll never get the promotion. Done.
  • Tell yourself you’re always a day late and a dollar short and you will be.
  • Tell yourself you won’t close the sale. That’s right.
  • Tell yourself you’ll bomb the interview. OK. No problem.

Curious about how this works?

  • What you say will influence what you think.
  • What you think will influence how you feel.
  • How you feel will influence what you do.
  • What you do will influence your results…

…Every time.

You may already know this. Yet, it’s possible that you rarely give enough attention or credit to the effects that words can have on your every day. Think about it this way…

You are given a blank canvas everyday; Your words are your paint

For example, if you say, “This is going to be a difficult day at the office.” then chances are, it will be. However, if you say, “This day will bring me lots of opportunities for growth.” then you’re one step closer to manifesting that reality. When you choose words that are in alignment with the experience, life, relationships, and business you want to create, you are standing in your power and taking greater control over your desired outcome.

Words give you power and control. Are you using them in ways that serve you or defeat you?
Here are a few ways to help you use your words to get you more of what you want.

Eradicate And Replace

Take stock. Examine the words you use to describe the status of your business? Or take a good look at the clients you are attracting into your practice (or not attracting) and consider how your words may have played a part in that reality. Because they did.

Next, commit to eradicating those non-productive words from your vocabulary and choose words that you will use in their place. For example, maybe you notice that you respond to the question “How’s business?” with words like “Slow” or “Not like it used to be”. Doing so will just create more of that reality for yourself. Consider replacing those responses with words like “Pretty good, thanks!” or “Getting better every day”. And watch what happens.

tone can easily cover up or hide the true meaning of your words, if you’re not careful. When you want to use your words to positively affect your results you can’t discount your delivery...

Remember, you have the ability to attract more of what you want by choosing your words with thought and intention.

Watch Your Tone

If you can think of the words that you choose as the cake, then the tone that they are delivered is the icing on said cake. In other words, tone can easily cover up or hide the true meaning of your words, if you’re not careful. When you want to use your words to positively affect your results you can’t discount your delivery.

Studies show that 7% of any spoken message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc). Quite unlike email correspndence, telephone communications rely 18% on words and 82% on tone. How often are you focusing on the tone of your spoken words and the effects it can have on the receiver?

Here’s a quick exercise to examine the dramatic differences. Try saying the following statements in three different tones: Enthusiastic, Neutral, and Angry

  • “I don’t know.”
  • “It’s no big deal.”
  • “You’re unbelievable.”

You get it. Watch your tone.

Share the love

As leaders and professionals, you know that the words you say to your collegues, superiors, and direct reports can have a tremenedous impact on them, affecting their outlook, job performance, creativity and efficacy.

Why not use that to your advantage AND theirs?

There are at least two dozen opportunities each day for you to offer others a word of praise, a compliment, a congratulations, or a thank you. It’s so easy, but I am willing to bet that you are not doing it as often as you could.

Taking time to share positive words with the people you work with will LITERALLY change them, change you, and change the dynamic of your relationship. This has immediate payoffs. Too many to list here.

Instead here’s a list of a few things you might say to someone else to share the love:

  • Nice job!
  • I appreciate you.
  • You make a difference here.
  • I believe in you.
  • Thanks for your hard work.

If this feels awkward at first, that’s natural. But if you can step out of your comfort zone and make the effort, the results will blow you away. Best part? Words are free, accesible and so abundant. Use them to help others be their best and build relationships that grow.

In summary, using your words to positively affect your life and others’ lives is a choice. Now that you know how, I challenge you to give it a try and reap the benefits. You so deserve that.