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Using Power Words and Phrases: Avoiding Color Words and Threats

 

Power Words and Phrases have the magical ability to get or keep you out of trouble and to move you and others in positive, constructive directions. These words counteract and detoxify the sticky, corrosive, destructive power of negative words and concepts.

The need for Power Words is essential to most of us, especially when we find ourselves in difficult, challenging and often murky, negative situations. The tendency upon hearing negative, emotional or accusatory language is to repeat and then respond. Power Words enable you to avoid repeating negative words and inflammable phrases, and to move in very constructive directions from the very beginning. Some examples:

 

CONTRAST ANALYSIS

Negative, Emotional, Accusatory Language Power Word Responses
1.      So you admit you bungled the chance to do this properly… 1.      What we did was essential and important to resolving the issues these individuals faced.
2.      Many thought your behavior was simply weird and uncalled for. 2.      We first identified the crucial issues we felt needed discussion and proceeded to empathetically and powerfully work to resolve the questions.
3.      How do you respond to this aggravating and unfortunate situation? 3.      Three actions: detect the issues; deter future negative actions; and provide essential and critical advice to move beyond the existing problem and situation.
4.      Even some Wall Street analysts say your company should be ashamed of what it did. How humiliating is this for your company? 4.      The significant facts are these: first, we always acted with empathy and responsibility; second, our culture has a strong sense of what is right and what to avoid. Our actions, as well as our words, demonstrate our commitment to these concepts. Finally, the most crucial information is that provided by victims and survivors. They uniformly praise our simple, sincere, sensible and responsible approach to their problems.
5.      You stand accused of being callous, careless, arrogant, and insensitive. How many of these allegations are true? 5.      Three things about our behavior and intentions are true: Everything we’ve been doing has been preauthorized by those most directly affected; our actions and intentions have been clear, we have been candid, and we have been truthful in every instance; lastly, as events unfold, responsible and knowledgeable commentary will prevail, but there will always be a handful of critics who remain to be convinced. We are being as direct and forceful with these individuals and organizations as we can be, telling our story and listening carefully for the views and comments they’re expressing.

 

POWER WORDS

Power Words are the words of tomorrow and have the energy and the punch to get attention and help surge beyond the negative and the emotional. Power Words provide a sense of constructive positivity that can move your conversation, issues and ideas to much more constructive, helpful and successful territory. Power Words add the simple, sensible, positive, constructive and forceful ingredients to power up your language and intentions. Words like:

  1. Aggressive
  2. Attack
  3. Authorize
  4. Avoid
  5. Candid
  6. Clear
  7. Crucial
  8. Critical
  9. Defend
  10. Detect
  11. Deter
  12. Different
  13. Direct
  14. Emphasize
  15. Empathize
  16. Energize
  17. Essential
  18. Exciting
  19. Fascinating
  20. Forceful
  21. Important
  22. Intentional
  23. Legitimize
  24. Necessary
  25. Needed
  26. New
  27. Powerful
  28. Prevent
  29. Prioritize
  30. Protect
  31. Purposeful
  32. Responsible
  33. Seasoned
  34. Sensible
  35. Significant
  36. Simple
  37. Sincere
  38. Steady
  39. Strip
  40. Strong
  41. Surge
  42. Surprised
  43. Tender
  44. Tough
  45. Truthful
  46. Unique
  47. Unusual
  48. Urgent
  49. Valuable

 

POWER PHRASES

Power Phrases consist mainly of numbered bundled of adjectives. The use of this technique in speaking and writing is extremely powerful. In both of these instances, speaking and writing, if you use the technique you will literally force people to write things down or take better notes than they might have otherwise.

Rule 1 for Power Packages:

Keep the number of ingredients or components low, generally four or fewer. Three seems to be an optimal number. We’re talking about:

  • Three Angles
  • Three Attempts
  • Three Decisions
  • Three Elements
  • Three Increments
  • Three Ingredients
  • Three Opinions
  • Three Options
  • Three Parts
  • Three Perspectives
  • Three Phases
  • Three Stages
  • Three Steps
  • Three Units

Some other examples could include the use of a single, powerful circumstance, such as, “The single, most important ingredient in this formula is…” or, “The most urgent issue we currently face is…”

The smaller the number, the more powerful the statement.

Some examples of two component phrases include,

  • “Your choice is between action and inaction.”
  • “Let’s just start with the two worst circumstances you face and see what we can generate from there.”
  • “A couple of things are on my mind.”

These power phrases make you more important, more influential, more memorable, and share those enhanced attributes and skills with those around you. Most of all, this technique forces people to write down what you’re talking about, which is one of the most important actions you can create in someone you’re trying to help, guide or direct.

 

AVOIDING COLOR WORDS

These words always create bad news. Avoid them. Power your way past them with Power Words and Power Phrases.

Afraid

Agitated

Aggravate

Alarmed

Alleged

Anger

Angry

Anguish

Antagonize

Anxious

Apathetic

Appalled

Apprehensive

Argue

Arrogant

Ashamed

Assassinate

Attack

Awful

Bad

Betrayed

Blame

Blasted

Bombs

Bored

Botched

Brainwashed

Bungled

Buried

Capitulate

Catastrophic

Collusion

Conceal

Confused

Conspire

Contempt

Corrosive

Cover-up

Cringe

Critical

Crooked

Curious

Damaging

Danger

Deadly

Deceitful

Defeated

Defective

Defensive

Delinquent

Demean

Deny

Despair

Desperation

Despicable

Destroy

Destructive

Deteriorate

Disappointed

Disarray

Discontented

Discouraged

Discriminate

Disdain

Disgusted

Dismiss

Disrespect

Distorted

Distraught

Disturbed

Dopey

Doubtful

Dumb

Duplicity

Ecotage

Embarrassed

Embattled

Endanger

Enraged

Evil

Eviscerate

Excessive

Exaggerate

Exposed

Face-saving

Fat

Fearful

Fight

Foolish

Frightened

Frustrating

Furious

Goofy

Gratuitous

Greedy

Guilty

Harassed

Harmful

Hateful

Hopeless

Hostile

Humiliated

Hurt

Icky

Idiot

Ignorant

Immature

Incompetent

Inept

Inappropriate

Irritated

Lies

Litigate

Lousy

Mad

Mangled

Mangy

Manipulate

Mean

Meek

Messy

Minimize

Miserable

Monopoly

Nag

Negligent

Out-of-touch

Overwhelmed

Overzealous

Outrageous

Painful

Panicky

Petrified

Pitiful

Poisonous

Profiteering

Questionable

Racist

Regret

Repudiate

Resentful

Resigned

Rip-off

Rotten

Sabotage

Sad

Sarcastic

Scared

Scum

Self-pity

Selfish

Sellout

Sham

Shame

Shameful

Shatter

Sick

Silly

Sissy

Skunk

Slander

Slash

Sloppy

Stinky

Struggle

Stupid

Surrender

Tampering

Tarnish

Tense

Terrible

Terrified

Terror-stricken

Terrorized

Threatened

Toxic

Tragic

Traitor

Tumultuous

Ugly

Unbelievable

Uncomfortable

Underhanded

Undermine

Uneasy

Unhappy

Unimportant

Unlucky

Unnecessary

Unreal

Unsure

Weird

Worried

 

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