When coaching a client through a difficult conversation, I will often make them talk to me as if I am the other person. I want to hear their word choices, reflection and tone of voice. I want to see the emotion either sharpen or soften the message. I want to watch them hear themselves talk and then hold up the mirror so they can verify if that is the message they want to send. Sometimes they surprise themselves when they can safely and simply say what they need to say. Too much context is fodder to stir up defensiveness and argument. Other times they do not know where to start, and they stumble along repeating messages without conviction.
As adults, we need to be passionate about rich, meaningful words. Let’s go on an expedition and dig around in that vast well of word choices and find the ones that fit. We need to throw out the words that have grown thin (like overwhelm, frustration and stress). We need to choose powerful words (try enormity, daunted or whelm) that create new reactions, new pathways, and new possibilities.
What would others say are your over-used words?