Words are more than just air passing over our vocal cords. Words are creative manifestations of our thoughts, feelings, imaginations, needs and beliefs.
Words can build or destroy relationships. It can calm tempers or it can inspire hate.
Counting our words are just as valuable as counting our blessings. It reminds me of the old saying … Silence is golden. Especially when we are wounded and emotionally triggered, keeping quiet can save relationships and reputations.
As coaches we need to master the art of listening. Listening is a gift we give our clients. Listening without judgement, listening without trying to impose our own thinking, listening to truly understand their hearts. Words can often reveal what is not being said…
Deep listening is mastering the art of hearing the unspoken yearning of people’s hearts, their deep shadow needs and hungers and their polished facades, hiding away their deepest fears.
When we use our words wisely we can inspire and empower people to stand up from the ashes and to continue on their journeys with new found hope.
Many years ago we facilitated a course in Pietermaritzburg with 20 young leaders identified by a local NPO. The training always includes topics like identity, disappointments, forgiveness, purpose and influence. The training went well but we never saw the young people after the training until one day, a year later, when I was visiting my sister in Pietermaritzburg and the local NPO called me to hear if they could bring me something.
A young man came along and he immediately introduced himself to me as one of the students we trained. I was happy to see him but I was not prepared for the testimony he gave me. The young man was from Zulu descent and he told me that before the course he decided to murder his father. He shared the sad story of how his father left him and his siblings and his mother for another woman and her family. He had left them without any support and they suffered without income and food for years. This young man was old enough to take revenge and he had everything planned out. BUT, he was invited to attend the course and he decided that he would execute his plan the week after.
During the training he realized that he was going to make a big mistake. At one stage we told the group that your past does not have to determine your future and that bitterness and hate destroys your soul. Apparently he could not sleep that night and he had a huge battle raging inside him. He told me that our words rang true and he realized that his father had stolen enough from him. He was not going to allow his bitterness to rob him of his future as well.
I was so touched by his story that I was speechless. We both got emotional and I could only thank him for being brave enough to share his testimony with me.
We never know whose lives we are going to touch. We never know how our words will affect someone else’s.
What we do know as coaches, is that we should mindfully and purposefully choose every word formed from our lips and that guarding our own hearts is key. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If our hearts are filled with gratitude we will speak words of love and abundance.
Let us count our words daily and revel in the moments of silence when the sounds of our client’s hearts are revealed and when we can harness the gift of revelation to choose the right words for healing, edification, inspiration and hope.