100 Day Challenge: Watch Your LanguageI like talking — even public speaking — but I much prefer writing if the content is difficult, controversial, or significant.

Speaking is a powerful form of expression. It provide immediacy and emotion and an important visual connection. But sometimes those can harm the communication process.

When I write, I can carefully parse my words. I can write, read, and rewrite. I can wait and come back to the material to see if it reads the way I expected. I an change what I'm saying to be more logical, less emotional, more sensitive or more pointed, depending on the purpose. I can clarify and remove redundancy. I can fact check and collect references.

Confidence in speaking comes because the topic is familiar to me and on where I have intimate experience and success. One of my convention speeches is about homeschooling —which I've done for 19 years and counting. Another is about home organization, something I love and am fanatical about. Goal setting is also a favorite topic, because it's something I've studied and worked on for decades.

Confidence in writing comes because the element of delayed publishing means I can polish a piece until I feel it is ready to be critiqued and dissected, which is a common issue in the blogging world.

The language you use can impact all your interactions. When working in any setting, small shifts in language can move you from a mediocre player to a desired asset.  Think about these effective phrases you can use to increase results with people:

  • I can.
  • I will.
  • I choose to do this.
  • I am responsible.
  • I am up to the challenge.
  • Give it to me; I'll get it done.
  • You can count on me.
  • Consider it done.
  • I'm on top of it.
  • You've come to the right place.
  • Let's get started, now!
  • I will achieve this goal.
  • It's a done deal.
  • I give you my word.

These are powerful phrases that instill confidence. If you need a job done, would you want the person who says, “I'll try.” or the one who says, “I'm on it!”

But that power is a double-edge sword. If you intentionally build confidence with your words and don't follow through, don't deliver, or make excuses, you're hosed. Your reputation is kaput. This is true even with — perhaps particularly with — your children. If you casually make promises and fail to keep them, your children quickly learn that you have no integrity, your words mean nothing. And that may be the most important place where integrity is required.

When you speak (out loud or through writing), gather facts and the proceed with statements that are:

  1. Positive
  2. Direct
  3. Unqualified

Watch your language today and see what an impact your words have.

Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!