Choose your words carefully. And to make an even bigger impact, choose powerful words carefully in the workplace.
Whether you lead an HR team of two or 20, you need to get your point across to people every day. You probably also need to make an impression with the larger organizational audience.
That’s when it’s even more critical to use the most powerful words.
But using the right words isn’t just important for clear communication. When managers communicate well, their employees have higher job satisfaction and a deeper level of job commitment, according to research in The International Journal of Human Sciences.
So, you don’t want to waste a word!
These eight words are the most effective in the English language. They’re powerful words in sales, marketing and business in general. They can help you convince employees to act, motivate them to take charge and help create a better workplace culture.
Emphasize them when you meet with employees and colleagues, facilitate meetings and training or write messages.
Powerful word 1: You
Generations of influencers have found that you is the absolute most influential word. It puts the focus on others. It shows empathy and compassion, which is at the heart of persuasion.
You can boost the power of you by using people’s names.
Example: “You know it’s true, Bruce, that we need everyone’s support on this project.”
Powerful word 2: Imagine
Imagine expands everyone’s idea of what’s possible. It opens up opportunities and suggests people can skip the worries.
Use imagine when brainstorming to help people bypass critical thinking and go to what feels right for the situation.
Example: “Imagine if we had just a day to resolve our recruiting issues. What would you suggest we do first?”
Powerful word 3: Because
Because helps logical thinkers connect cause and effect. Emotional thinkers connect feelings and logic.
Giving people reasons – connected by because – gets them to respond fast.
Example: “I need you to stop work on the current project because we need to ramp up onboarding before the busy season.”
Powerful word 4: Now
Most people want immediacy. Tell them what’s happening now, not what already took place. Tell them how they’re affected now, and in the future (which will be now at some point).
Example: “We need you to stay late now because we aren’t on target to meet the deadline. Now’s the time to stay focused so we can enjoy slow time later.”
Powerful word 5: Believe
Believing is the first step in making something happen. When people believe in what they’re part of, they’re more likely to see how to overcome limitations.
Remind employees to believe in your mission, themselves or the project.
Example: “If you believe in our new process and your abilities, we will smash this year’s goal!”
Powerful word 6: Guarantee
You can put people at ease with the word guarantee. It offers assurance in risk and security in complexity.
But be careful: Only use it when you can 100% guarantee what you say.
Example: “I guarantee the meeting will be done in 30 minutes, and you can leave early today.”
Powerful word 7: Act
Act is a call for urgency and is appealing because it suggests good things will happen. And that will move people closer to what they want.
Example: “If we act quickly to identify the number of errors, we’ll still finish this project on time.”
Powerful word 8: Help
Help creates connections.
When leaders ask employees for help they show everyone is part of the team – and the leader isn’t just a figurehead. When you acknowledge help given, you recognize people’s individual value to the group’s good.
Examples: “I’d like your help on this decision. What do you think …?” or “Your help was essential to the win.”