World of Words

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    The words we use make a world of difference. If you look at the words “word” and “world”, there is only one letter difference and that’s a “l.” I believe the more we respect, honor and love the words in our lives, the more it will open up our world.

    Take my two-year-old son. Now that he’s beginning to talk and learn more words, his world is expanding. He is able to more effectively communicate his needs and wants with those around him like never before. On the other hand, take my friend who recently received a diagnosis of dystonia. According to Wikipedia, Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder, in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. Now whenever she speaks, she struggles not to slur her words. While my son’s world is opening up, her’s is closing in as she is choosing to limit her words in order to best communicate with others.

    We all know the power of words when they are misused and how much they can discourage us in our work, hopes and dreams. These type of words are ones that hopefully we avoid using and avoid receiving. Thus, I won’t spend any more “words” on them.

    The words that matter are the ones that encourage and affirm others. In fact, “Words of Affirmation” is considered a love language. The Five Love Languages is a book and series of work from author Gary Chapman. Words of Affirmation is one of the five ways that we receive and express love with others. If this is how you express love, this is also how you would mostly likely prefer to receive love.

    Words of Affirmation in Action

    The most memorable way I’ve received recognition at the workplace is when I was given a thank you gift that spoke my love language, Words of Affirmation. A colleague gave me a meaningful card with a handwritten note that expressed her gratitude for my work on a project of hers. Along with it, she gave me a bag of chocolate-covered peanuts, one of my favorite treats. She tapped into how I express my love and appreciation to others, especially through sending out thank-you cards with handwritten notes of gratitude.

    Who can you affirm with your words and make a difference in their world? Share a comment with us below.

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    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.

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    Janae Bower is an inspirational speaker, award-winning author and training consultant. She founded Finding IT, a company that specializes in personal and professional development getting to the heart of what matters most. She started Project GratOtude, a movement to increase gratitude in people’s lives.