Not Just Any Words But Your Words

There is this lesson I have to learn over and over and over again.  It has to do with the power of one’s voice on the folks around you.  I think it more often underestimated than the alternative.

I think it is hard for us to understand the degree of influence we have on the people who are most familiar with us.  I say “most familiar with us” because I’m not certain that fondness is necessarily a predictor of the degree of influence.

My suspicion is that “fondness” may impact the direction of the influence but not necessarily the magnitude of the influence if that makes sense.

I’ll give you an example.  In our home we have three dogs.  One of them is a new puppy with all that this implies.  Lots of training going on, potty and otherwise.  That puppy, and to a large degree the other two dogs as well, react differently depending on the voice.

When my wife says “come!” those beasts come straight to her with a quickness.  (Treats galore).

When I say “come!” those dogs run in the opposite direction with the same degree of enthusiasm.  (No treats.  Dry hole.)

And Three Makes a Herd

What is funny about all of this is that I feel as though I perfectly understand my influence on these dogs.  I am aware of it.  I think I could change the dynamic at will if it suited me.


…when it comes to people it’s a whole different dynamic.  I think many of us underestimate our influence, the power of OUR words both from a productive and unproductive standpoint.

There are, of course, many variables that determine the degree of influence, right?  Differences in age, experience, family role, gender, education, job titles, etc.

So all these things matter because they can determine the power of your words to specific ears.

They say Words Matter.  

I couldn’t agree more.  Words do matter….

…but where they come from may matter as much or more.  I have to remember this somehow.



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