Words matter. There is power in the words you use. It has be said that the most powerful words are “I’m sorry.” In the 1970’s, Duke University’s Psychology Department compiled a list of the most powerful words in advertising . These words have been proven to evoke emotion in a listener or reader. The words are, in no particular order:
I think there is a far more powerful word — actually two words. “I’m right.” These two words have power to evoke great emotion, both in the speaker and recipient. They shut down conversation, relationships, employees, spouses, children and most importantly they shut down creativity.
Everyone has been in a situation where you are informed you are in the presence of someone who is right and don’t forget it. Wow- the emotions can range from anger, frustration and defiance to resignation or submission.
When your first reaction is “I’m right” you are setting yourself up for failure on all fronts. This is true even when you are right.
There is less emotional power but greater creative power in the words, “I may not be right. Actually, I’m probably wrong.” The words are not as important as the attitude.
This openness to being wrong or at least not right is a powerful stance to take. This opens the door to new learning, new experiences, deeper relationships and a whole world where people want to collaborate with you in creating a new future.
Which is more important to you? Being right or being in a place of abundant creativity opportunities with knowledge, wisdom, new ideas and people?
I propose to you the most powerful words you can use today is “I’m not sure, what do you think?”
What words do you find powerful when working with others? Share them in a comment.
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