If you’ve ever presented an idea, concept, or suggestion and received a less-than-positive reaction in return, then you’ve probably wondered where your message went wrong and what you could have done differently. At times, your choice of words is all that stands between you and the positive response you desire. The English language is rich with choices. You can use multiple words to convey what may seem to be the same message on the surface, yet each word communicates a subtle “hidden message” that differs between words.

The words you choose to use can convey positive or negative messages. In turn, how the message receiver interprets and reacts to your messages is directly tied to whether they “hear” your message positively or negatively. You can persuade, motivate, or discourage solely by the words you choose to use when you communicate.

For example, think about words that naturally make you “feel” good. Words such as “can”, “do”, and “will” inherently generate a positive feeling, whereas their counterparts – “can not”, “do not”, and “will not” – imply limits or elicit negative feelings. No matter what other words your message may contain, negative words set the stage for negative outcomes.

Positive words help you create positive responses. Consider that when you
choose and use positive words, they…

• Reflect a “can-do” expectation.
• Imply a belief that it is possible to achieve what is to be achieved.
• Plant subliminal messages to the reader or listener that “no” is
unacceptable and that you expect results.
• Activate the pleasure area of the brain – the nucleus accumbens –
releasing dopamine that generates good feelings and thoughts in your
message recipient.
• Motivate, inspire, encourage, validate, and empower the person receiving
your messages.

The next time you want to get a positive response, consider replacing negative
words with positive words. The process is called framing your messages. Notice the difference it makes in your audience’s behavior. It helps them see and hear your messages in your favor.

When you communicate your ideas and thoughts with an intention to garner
support for and agreement with your implementation strategies, use words such as:

“Encourage” instead of “must”,
“Challenge” instead of “problem”,
“Opportunity” instead of “more work”,
“Agreement” instead of “requirement”
“Alternative approach” rather than “replacement”

What industry uses this reframing concept regularly? The advertising
industry! Considerable research has been done to measure how we react
to the messages we receive. Advertising is pure message-delivery through
differing medium. The more effective the ad in getting us to perform, the
more persuasive is its message. (Note: Search “brain studies on positive
versus negative messages” using your favorite Internet search engine.) http://
www.wisegeek.com/where-is-the-brains-pleasure-center.htm

Choosing words that move your ideas forward requires more thought and
intention than using words that harm progress. Use words with positive
connotations to move your ideas to IMPACT©!

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Henderson is Chief Everything Officer (CEO) of Springboard Training—your springboard to personal and professional development. She is an author, workshop facilitator, speaker, and business woman. She provides people, tools and resources that focus on professionalism and work ethics (employability skills) and leadership...helping people & organizations show they are as great as they say they are.