Powerful Words: Positive and Negative Language

Susan Russel shares, through the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, how powerful both positive or negative language can be. These tips are helpful to keep in mind, whether you are managing a difficult legal situation with your counsel or even if you are managing a quarantine.

Negative and powerless language can sound like:

  • I “have” to deal with this (victim, lack of control)
  • They are the reason (blaming others)
  • Here’s another problem (problems not solutions focused)
  • I doubt it will work (lack of faith in systems, self, or team)
  • I hope we can make it work (lack of commitment)
  • I have no control over what is happening (lack of control)

Positive language that empowers us and others, sounds like:

  • I “get” to test this new technology out (opportunity focused)
  • We “can” reinvent what we do (belief in ability, systems, self and team)
  • We “will” get through this (committed, confident, action-oriented)
  • Let’s discuss solutions and modify our systems (solutions and systems focused)
  • Let’s identify our actions (in action and in control)”

Victoria Blachly: SYK AttorneyVictoria Blachly is a partner at SYK, and an experienced fiduciary litigator that works with many elderly clients, cases and causes. She is also a proud Board Member for the Oregon Alzheimer’s Association Chapter.