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“In the beginning was the Word…” writes John in his gospel, offering perhaps one of the most thought-provoking insights of all time, even outside of its religious context.

hand and letters

It reminds us that words have power. That language distinguishes us humans from other animals. And from this fundamental difference, you as a leader can draw power.

Words move people. The right words move them more forcefully.

Advertisers understand and effectively apply the power of words such as you, free, and now. Sales people leverage the power of yes. Great leaders use the power of words to drive social and political movements.

A powerful video adaption of The Story of a Sign by Alonso Alvarez Barreda, already viewed by millions, dramatizes what changing a few words can do.

Maybe it’s because we use words all the time that we seldom take time to consider what words to use. As a leader who coaches and has taken on the responsibility of motivating engagement and driving accountability in order achieve High Commitment and High Performance, it behooves you to use your words wisely.

Here are just a few ways to tune up your word power.

  • Address people by their names to make them feel recognized and to grab their attention.
  • Use words of courtesy, like please and thank you, to warm up your personal relationships.
  • Get to the point. Don’t waste words hemming and hawing about what you want to say. Say it!
  • Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don’t ever say it mean.
  • Don’t say anything. Listening conveys meaning without words. It says you value what’s being said.

Our next CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach program will focus on communication. Learn more about how you can take part alongside other leaders looking for better and more effective ways to communicate.


Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.