Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 85

Say things like they mean something. Say things like, "They mean something."

The power of words is amazing.  Who would think that a slight change in wording, or even a different inflection or pause point, could totally change the way what we say is interpreted?

But, of course, these variables make all the difference.

We've all been in situations where we have misspoken or where information was shared with us that we interpreted in a way different than was intended.

Words have tremendous power.

So, as leaders and learners it falls on us to use them appropriately, and most importantly, to live by the old adage, "We must think before we speak."

The two statements I used in the tweet above are great examples.  Here's why:

Say things like they mean something.  This can be interpreted as stating that we should use words wisely, and speak when we have something important to say.  This is a rule to live by for all leaders and learners as we want to develop a culture where when people speak, everyone listens.

Say things like, "They mean something." This is also a powerful statement.  It includes all the same words as the first, in the same order, but with a comma for a pause and two quotation marks.  With those additions, what this statement says is totally different.  This can be interpreted to mean that we should regularly and often say, "They mean something."  This is also a great rule to live by.  The "they" could represent students, teachers, parents, family, friends, pets, etc.  The simple idea is that by regularly stating these words, we encourage others to believe in the importance of people.  Everyone means something, and everyone should know that people care.

So, with three small changes to the same statement, we can say equally important (and equally powerful) things.

We should never discount the power of the written or spoken word, and should make sure that we always consider how our words can, and will be, interpreted by others.

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