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The Power of Words

We have been primarily focusing on developing  positivity within an individual in this blog post so far. Let's now shift the focus a little bit on the world around us.

Every individual needs to interact with different  personalities in our day to day lives and verbal communication has the most impact in developing relationships within a family, at the work place, and with friends/acquaintances.

Kabir (a 15th century Indian mystic, poet and saint), has a very relevant  Hindi couplet on the importance of "talking etiquette":

ऐसी वाणी बोलिये, मन का आपा खोये।
औरन को शीतल करे, आपहु शीतल होये।।

The english transliteration sounds like:

Aisi vaani boliye, man ka aapa khoye
Auran ko sheetal kare, aaphu sheetal hoye
  
It means one should communicate verbally  in such a way, it dissolves mind's ego and fills the heart with joy. One's words, voice and tone should have a calming effect on others as well as on oneself.

Three important aspects of personality, when interacting with others are one's intent, speech and actions. We need to develop synchronization of positive intent, which is expressed in gentle verbal communication, and finally translates into good actions. 

A positive intent is not likely to make the intended impact on others if it is not skillfully communicated. A harsh communication has the power to ruin the positive impact and appreciation of a good action. 

Weighing words before we let them out, specially when we are angry or upset at others can help prevent ugly situations in our relationships in different spheres of life. It doesn't mean we need to run away from confrontational situations all the time. Our verbal communication must be driven by the intent to resolve problems, rather then making it a battle of egos. We may also need to see if the other person is in  receptive state of mind, before we discuss a potential contentious issue.

Positive reinforcements through  encouraging words are an important aspect of parenting, teaching, coaching and mentoring. This reminds us of  the following story being shared on social media about Thomas Edison (the great American inventor and businessmen, who invented the light bulb). Although we have not ascertained the authenticity of the story, but it does brings home the point.

One day Thomas Edison came home and gave a paper to his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to my mother.”
His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child: Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.
After many, many years, after Edison's mother died and he was now one of the greatest inventors of the century, one day he was looking through old family things. Suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper was written: Your son is addled [mentally ill]. We won’t let him come to school any more.
Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”

We found this Toastmaster video about "The Power of Words" very inspiring:


Great verbal communication skill is key to a successful leadership as it enables a leader to communicate goals and inspire others to work hard towards accomplishment of those goals. Practicing good communication and talking etiquette will eventually make those part of one's nature and help  an individual  grow into a natural leader. Needless to say, this also helps attract new friends, and grow  our social/professional network. We also create a good family atmosphere and role model for our kids by practicing this good habit.

Using kind words, speech and tone is not just a superficial behavior, but is built on a solid foundation of a well rounded personality who has realized the futility of anger. So, another habit to practice,  is to remain calm, and not get overwhelmed by anger even in provocative situations.

Discover the power of spoken words yourself by making it a soft goal and see how it leads you to success and spreads the happiness within you and around you.

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