Well, there is one thing that I always tell people that before we speak it’s very essential to think that do we want to just make noise, or we want to be heard. If it’s the latter, then we must consciously choose how and what must be told. The skill of using positive language not just to appreciate others but even to highlight their shortcomings will fetch a positive impact.
From my experience, I can confidently say that the power of using the right way of sharing your opinion or feedback is extremely useful not just to students or parents but to every individual.
I have always believed that language is a superpower that can make or break nations, hence essential to understand it and use it to our advantage. Using positive language can be beneficial whether you’re trying to parent your kids, teach your students, navigate your workplace, or just in any relationship.
It is a known fact the people don’t react well to criticism whereas one statement of appreciation, motivates us to go the extra mile. It helps the listener feel helped, heard, or validated.
Here are some ways to turn our negative language into positive interaction.
While Giving Instructions
Giving clear instructions is the first step to get the desired result. In a day on average most individuals give at least 8-10 instructions but if we pay attention, we realise that we end up telling others mostly what not to do more than what is supposed to be done. This technique is especially effective with kids and will have maximum chances of getting a positive outcome.
Negative: Don’t mess up your room.
Positive: Keep your room clean.
Negative: Don’t watch a video during your online classes.
Positive: Be attentive and focus on your classes.
Negative: Don’t sleep late.
Positive: Sleep on time and get up early.
Using ‘I’ Statements
Using the ‘You- statement’ is a typical way of our communication where we keep telling others what they did or did not do. But it is essential to know that using ‘I-statements’ reduces hostility and ‘You-statements’ can provoke anger and make the listener feel blamed.
It’s human psychology!
Negative: You spend a lot of time on your phone.
Positive: I feel unimportant when you are on phone most of your time.
Negative: You must study, or you won’t score well.
Positive: I am worried about your scores, and I would be happy to see you succeed. Maybe we can work on setting up your routine.
Negative: You are of no help at all!
Positive: I feel overworked and would appreciate some extra help.
Everyone makes mistakes. Offering a genuine apology can be a strength but over apologizing shows your weakness. Instead of fixating on the mistake, you can thank someone for how they responded to you. Rephrase. Instead of saying I’m sorry, try another phrase. Depending on the situation, you might try:
Negative: Sorry for being late.
Positive: Thanks for waiting.
Negative: Sorry the food is not ready yet.
Positive: I appreciate your patience. You are going to be awarded the most delicious platter.
Explain What You Can Do
It’s better to highlight what you can do instead of what you can’t. It makes you sound confident, decisive, and reliable.
Negative: I don’t know the answer to your query
Positive: Let me explore and get back to you.
Negative: I can’t meet you tomorrow.
Positive: Weekend will work out better for me.
Negative: We don’t offer extra classes.
Positive: We can ask the teacher to stay back for 10 minutes and guide you, whenever you have trouble understanding.
Limit Everyday Negatives:
Have you ever analyzed how many negative phrases we use daily? If not, then do so now. You will realise that knowingly or unknowingly we all do this mistake and after this realization starts working on flipping these negative statements to positive ones. Let me share some examples
Negative: No problem
Positive: Happy to help
Negative: I can’t complain
Positive: I am doing great/ I am quite happy
Negative: Why not?
Positive: sounds like a plan
Do you notice that these small changes make a drastic improvement on the overall tone? Challenge yourself to use your linguistic skills to transform your negatives into positives and I assure you that you will be heard loud and clear without raising your voice.