I hope you had a wonderful, drama-free Thanksgiving as we did.
Between the rush of parties, buying gifts, decorating, travel and/or getting ready for guests, I invite you to reshape details in your world by using different words to describe them.
Here’s an example.
Don’t you feel a little smile inside when you see these?
Or this one conjures a different feeling:
Actions are more powerful than words; people love to tell me that and I agree. But what drives actions? Thoughts and/or interpretations. How do you change those? With words. You entertain alternate points of view or P.O.S.S.I.B.I.L.I.T.I.E.S. And different actions follow changed perspectives just as surely as day follows the sound of your way-too-early alarm.
Imagine putting a lemon wedge in your mouth. Are you grimacing? Are your eyes squinting? Just imagining that tart lemon in your mouth creates a physical reaction. Such is the power of your imagination. And your imagination responds to pictures, but in most people, it more easily responds to words.
Try some of these word plays at work and look out for how things change.
1. Imagine you have to create your own new job title.
Pretend the words that you currently use to describe yourself cannot be used ever again [along with all acronyms] — what would you call yourself? How would you describe your job?
A colleague, aptly named Ace, did just that. He came up with Physician Concierge Services. Physician Concierges don’t order roses or pick up dry cleaning; they offer specialized IT support for the EHR [electronic health record] used by the hospital. He created a job into something more aligned with his strengths and interests.
Here’s a cheat sheet to get you started.
My official job title is [insert current boring job title]_ but what I really do is [what do you actually do]? for [your client, in-house or not] so that [how you make the world a better place].
And with that, you could end up creating a more imaginative job to do. You might eventually get more $$ for it, or the gift of more time or …. more satisfaction at work.
2. Come up with significantly more daring vision of your future.
What’s a word, or 3, that describe your ideal life?
I choose Daring, Imaginative and Impractical. You may pick Serene or World-class. Your call.
What if you dared to be impractical from time to time? My friend BW did this and lived the life of a gentleman farmer in France for two years. Now he’s back in corporate and he’s the kind of guy everyone wants to work with or for and one of the most interesting people you will ever know.
So what does that kind of future look like for you? What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Make a list of 10 things you would love to experience that fit the word(s) you selected. How would like to expand the scope of your job or change it? You get extra points for highly imaginative and impractical suggestions, like visiting the Alice in Wonderland exposition at the British Library in London. [I’m still trying to make that into a business expense.]
3. What kind of words would create a festive mood wherever you are? [OK, not at a funeral home.]
Isn’t it great when people are in a positive mood? You can be the one who raises the energy in the room. The person with the strongest conviction controls the remote control for moods.
Recall the best compliment you ever got? Reflect on that and see how you feel. Sincerely complimenting others improves their mood AND yours. But don’t be normal about it, predictable and boring. Use smiley words.
Some smiley words and sample sentences:
Quinton, when will you have that beastly report ready with the Q1 projection?
MaryChris, with a bit more polish, this presentation will bedazzle them, please see my comments.
Iris, where do you fancy having lunch today?
Make your own list and sprinkle those festive words into your reports and emails. Your recipient will surely smile, if only on the inside.
Here’s your homework. Choose at least one of the following.
- Create a new job title.
- Write down 10 things to do that match your ideal world words.
- Make a list of at least 5 festivs words. Insert them, one by one, into your emails and see what happens.
What does all this have to do with work? Simple. Happier folks are more productive. That’s a scientific fact.
Another fact is the pen is mightier than the sword. The more creatively you use words, the more delight you create for yourself the end, you build the structure and potential for your daring and imaginative life with words. A worthy endeavor, always.