Getting Results Magazine Getting Results Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 13

“This thought-bodily response-outward action chain is why you should never tell yourself ‘I’m not prepared for this. I’m going to blow it’ as you’re walking into a big meeting.” PUTTING A POSITIVE SPIN ON COMMUNICATION Changing thought patterns is not a simple task, but it is one that can be accomplished over time by simply changing, and consciously choosing, the words you use to communicate. The artist Yao Xiao has a series of comic strips (featured on the right) which illustrate some of the ways we can flip the script on negative communication and state our thoughts to others in a more positive manner. It’s as simple as expressing gratitude rather than expressing sorrow. Thank the other person for their patience rather than saying you’re sorry that you’re late. Thank the other person for listening instead of apologizing for rambling. Yao Xiao’s comic strips beautifully illustrate the positive effect this flip-of-the-script has on both people. TYING IT ALL TOGETHER The fact of the matter is that it’s much easier for you to fall into the criticism and negativity trap by criticizing yourself or others than it is to put in the extra effort to give yourself perspective on things. If you spill your coffee, your immediate response through self-talk could easily be “That was stupid of me.” This is a visceral, gut reaction. To combat negative gut reactions, train yourself to pause. When you spill coffee, grunt, scream, yell, curse, but then pause. Choose to show yourself grace and positivity. The mug was slippery. It was an accident. I’m glad it didn’t spill onto my computer. Unfortunately, until it becomes a habit, positivity just isn’t the default state of most people. It will take some effort, but rewards will come back to the individual putting in that effort. Begin by putting forth a concerted and active attempt to think about the way you speak to others (and yourself) and put a pos itive spin on these things. Every time you speak to yourself or others, know this: you have the power to control how you feel by voluntarily choosing what words you use. Taking the reins and consciously steering your words away from negativity is the first step to bringing more happiness and growth into your life and the lives of those around you. u Credit: Yao Xiao SPRING 2018 | 13