by: Staci Stallings
So we’ve seen that the saying: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you” isn’t as true as it sounds.
We’ve also seen that those who use words to hurt and harm are NOT as tough as they seem. In fact, often, they are the very ones who feel inferior and who look for someone to make littler so they can feel bigger.
Strangely, when you know #2, #1 actually becomes doable.
If you know the person taunting you or hurling hurtful words at you is really not strong like they seem, suddenly you begin to see their words as not as powerful. You begin to put them into perspective.
Let’s say, for example, that Bob the Boss has a terrible habit of running others down. Now Bob the Boss has learned that the way to get people to work is to make them afraid. To him afraid = productive.
But is it really?
Have you ever had a situation where the more unreasonable someone got, the more productive you got? Maybe at first, it might work that way. However, when fear and intimidation are used repeatedly, they often have the opposite effect. They tend to make you either quit or wear out. Neither of which = productivity.
In fact, sometimes this hard-nosed, fear tactic can make people actively seek ways to “get back at” the blowhard. They can begin to find little ways of poking holes in the ship. Obviously, this does not support the whole team and the blowhard’s ship will go down with enough holes.
Only truly strong people seek to build others up. It is the weak who tear others down.
Let’s say on the opposite end, there is Tracy Terrific. Now Tracy hasn’t been in business as long as Bob the Boss. She doesn’t have as much experience or knowledge; however, every one of her employees knows Tracy is on their side. Tracy praises when praise is appropriate, and she works together with her employees to fix problems. In fact, she actively encourages her employees to help one another, building a team of players, rather than a scatter-shot of frightened, intimidated employees.
Whose company would you prefer to work for? Whose company would you frequent?
There are two main grocery stores in my town. One of them actively hires friendly out-going people. They call their customers “guests,” and you cannot walk down three aisles without being greeted by someone. The other store is a grocery store. If someone talks to you, it’s at the check out line. The person bringing your groceries to the car often acts like they would rather be anywhere else. Most of the time they tell you what they plan to do when they get off work in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 hours.
Guess where I shop 95% of the time.
The point of today’s rambling post is two fold:
#1 If you’re confronted with a Word Weapon, realize the person wielding it is not as powerful as they at first appear.
#2 In your own dealings with people, choose words that uplift, encourage, and inspire. Your company will thank you, and you will be amazed at how those around you change as well.