By:  Michelle Denio

Oftentimes, when you come across an article that someone is raving about as a ‘”MUST READ – Changed my life”, you glance through it with some skepticism, and then realize that it won’t change your life.  However this time I came across one of these “life changing” articles and wow – it peaked my interest!  It gave me an entirely different perspective on how to approach a conversation.

My number one priority in my day-to-day job has always been to help our clients as best as I can.  I consider myself to have  solid communication skills – hence, why I’m in the job I’m in.  Effective communication is not only the lifeblood of my job, but how we address the technical issues our clients experience.   All lasting relationships (both personal and professional) are built on good communication.

I love to read and revere the power of words.  I even find it challenging (in a fun way) when I need to explain something again, or differently, for the person on the other end to fully comprehend what I’m saying.   In this field, as in many others, with the good comes the bad.  Sometimes finding the right words can be a little daunting.

Immediately the reporter began the article to catch the reader’s attention (well done!).  The article was motivating and I found myself saving quotes to look back on later.  The interviewee of the article, Professor Bernard Roth, speaks about habitual patterns in speaking and said “… everyday speech is rife with disempowering language”1.    This statement reeled me in unexpectedly.  How could my love of words be used against us?  Low and behold words as simple as “but, want and won’t” can completely change the tone of a statement or conversation.

I highly encourage anyone, no matter what their field or direction in life, to read this article.  It inspired me in a very unexpected way to take a look at how I communicate, and how to improve; not only myself but with everyone I speak to.

I will leave you with what I found as an extremely striking statement:  “‘Can’t’ implies helplessness; ‘won’t’ signifies volition and choice.”  I think your choice should be to read this article.

1    5 Words And Phrases That Can Transform Your Work Life.  Michael Grothaus.