Words are powerful.
Words can start things and words can end things.
Christians will know that God started the earth with words.
In Genesis 1:3
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
The Genesis 1: 1-28 verses are all about God using words to create things. “Let there be” and things happened.
It is important that we choose the words we use carefully because words are like a knife. A knife in the hands of a doctor can save lives, but a knife in the hands of a thug can end lives.
When we conversate, it is important to be intentional about the words we use.
Productive intent is a pre-requisite for a good conversation.
Polished and thoughtful delivery definitely help, but, they are secondary. People listen for intent before they listen to the words.
That is why the most productive conversations typically involve people who trust each other.
In the absence of deep trust, there are only two other routes to productive conversations.
The first is to build a reputation for having good intent and to lean on it.
And, the second is to signal intent early.
In the leadership class at the Lora Centre, we teach entrepreneurs how to handle difficult conversations:
Start with appreciation and the why behind your feedback before you give your feedback.
Intent is what people remember when they have long forgotten the words.