Avoid defeat from Color Words and Threats Be Specific – Stop Your Wandering Generalities
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:
|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 are preauthorized by those most directly affected; our actions and intentions are sensible and 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 their views and comments.|
Power Phrases Packaging and Bundling
Power Phrases consist mainly of numbered bundles 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.
Package and Bundle Crucial Information:
Keep the number of ingredients or components low, generally five or fewer. Three seems to be an optimal number. We’re talking about:
|Three Angles||Three Options|
|Three Attempts||Three Parts|
|Three Decisions||Three Perspectives|
|Three Elements||Three Phases|
|Three Increments||Three Stages|
|Three Ingredients||Three Steps|
|Three Opinions||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, direct, coach, or counsel.
Power Words are the words of tomorrow. Power words 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||26. New|
|2. Attack||27. Powerful|
|3. Authorize||28. Prevention|
|4. Avoid||29. Prioritize|
|5. Candid||30. Protection|
|6. Clear||31. Purposeful|
|7. Crucial||32. Responsible|
|8. Critical||33. Seasoned|
|9. Defend||34. Sensible|
|10. Detect||35. Significant|
|11. Deter||36. Simple|
|12. Different||37. Sincere|
|13. Direct||38. Steady|
|14. Emphasize||39. Strip|
|15. Empathize||40. Strong|
|16. Energize||41. Surge|
|17. Essential||42. Suprized|
|18. Exciting||43. Tender|
|19. Fascinating||44. Tough|
|20. Forceful||45. Truthful|
|21. Important||46. Unique|
|22. Intentional||47. Unusual|
|23. Legitimize||48. Urgent|
|24. Necessary||49. Valuable|
Avoid Color Words
These words always create bad news. Avoid them. Power your way past them with Power Words and Power Phrases.
Crucial negative attributes of color words that make them toxic to your communications. Color words always are:
- Always disruptive, destructive, demoralizing, and sometimes devastating.
- Always emotional. Just seeing these words on the list can grab your guts and make them feel bad. This is why reporters, opponents and angry people use them.
- In many cultures we are taught that failing to answer directly the question asked damages our credibility. Forget that rule and always counter color words with power words.
- Review the previous section on contrast analysis to see how power words can be used to defeat color words.
Color Words…Collected from Hundreds of Media Interviews that were Driven into the Ditch by Color Words.
Stop Your Wandering Generalities, Be Meaningfully Specific
A note about the concept of packaging and numbering adjectives. This is the most powerful verbal tool you can use. It works on happy people, sad people, angry people, agitated people, confused people and people you need to convince. Some simple examples:
|Wandering Generalities||Meaningfully Specific Translation|
|1. “We’re a great company.”||1. “We are a powerful company, leading three important business sectors, digitalization, transmission efficiency and end user acceptance.”|
|2. “Everybody loves our company.”||2. “We use three techniques every month to test our customer acceptance; direct contact with key users; short, direct questionnaires; seeking testimonials.”|
|3. “We’ve successfully dealt with this problem in the past.”||3. “We made three crucial improvements in this process four years ago: first, we significantly reduced defects, second, we began more careful education of our customers, and third, we introduced a monitoring program to catch defects earlier.”|
I Love Working On This Stuff
Getting good at contrast analysis and using power words makes you a better more persuasive and memorable spokesperson, speaker or representative. These are really cool problems to resolve. If you’ve got a particularly sticky circumstance or troublesome set of colorful accusations, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can quickly detoxify them together.