Did You Know Your Words Are Like a Boomerang?
by Laurie Sudbrink on February 14th, 2018

Did You Know Your Words Are Like a Boomerang? #LaurieSudbrink #LeadingwithGRIT #communicatingwithGRIT
​My grandson was asking me about how to throw a boomerang. He was worried that it would smack him in the face! As I chuckled over that and we researched it (because I’ve never thrown a boomerang), we found a good article about how conditions will always be different, there’s no perfect way to throw a boomerang, and you need to adapt and adjust for the varying conditions.

​Then it occurred to me - our words can be like a boomerang.

What are you creating with your words? 

Don Miguel Ruiz of The Four Agreements said “Your word is your power to create.” Often we don’t realize what we’re saying and what it is causing. Being a good communicator means we’re being mindful of how we’re using our words and the impact it has on ourselves and others.
It’s like karma. What you throw out there will come back to you, and can certainly smack you in the face! If you lash out with negativity, you’ll get negativity in return. If you are friendly and express love and gratitude, you’ll most likely receive the same. (We’ll talk about what happens when you don’t get that friendliness back in next week’s blog post!)

It may not come back directly, just like when you throw a boomerang if you don’t have the skill and precision yet. But it will have an effect on others, which in turn can work it’s way back.

How we speak as parents is a perfect example of the boomerang effect. The way we talk and the words we use with our children affects their behavior. And the same applies in the workplace. When we’re frustrated or flustered and we project that onto our team, we’re showing them that they can do the same. When you lead an organization, think of the trickle-down effect that can happen!

Think about some of the words we might use as parents that could cause damage. Absolutes are typically damaging words:
  • You’re always complaining.
  • You never listen to me.
  • You’re always late.
  • You never do it right.
In effect, you’re labeling that person. When we use absolutes, it leaves no room for any other possibilities. Most people will have a negative reaction to this. Sometimes directly, and you’ll be aware of the reaction. But often indirectly, without you knowing the effect it has had, eroding the person’s self-esteem, inspiring them to be defiant, sneaky, argumentative or even passive and non-committal.

A good rule of thumb is to try and avoid absolutes. Of course, there can be exceptions to any rule, such as using absolutes with positives, like telling you’re children “I’ll always love you,”  or telling your direct-report that everyone makes mistakes.

​Like a boomerang, we need to adjust and adapt and be mindful of the way we are communicating.

​In the case of our children, it is influencing the adults they become. In the case of our teams, it is impacting our bottom lines. Pay attention to your words. Choose them wisely. Be mindful of what you create, for yourself and for others!

Join us on March 7th, from 2:00 - 2:30 EST, to discover How to Communicate With GRIT®! And, just for attending, you'll receive a Work of Leaders DiSC® assessment! It’s a $107.50 value and we’re only giving it to the people who join us LIVE. Identify your strengths and opportunities in 18 leadership best practices! Register here for the LIVE webinar.


Cheers,

Laurie


Posted in Lead With GRIT    Tagged with communicating with GRIT, leading with grit, leadershipdevelopment, career, career success


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