“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Sounds good in theory, but it isn’t true. Words can be deadly.
The Bible says it this way in Proverbs 18:21 . . . “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” As leaders it is imperative for us to remember that the power of life and death is in our words.
I suspect you can think back to words from your past that have inspired you and as well as words that have scarred you. Are you bringing life to those you lead through your words or are you tearing them down?
Leaders who are negative, critical, and cynical with their words waste their influence. Their words are like poison and they will kill organizational life. Whereas leaders who are positive, encouraging, and truthful with their words maximize their influence? Their words are like fruit, sweet to the ears.
Who needs a good word from you today? Who needs some life? You have the ability to build someone up through what you say. Be intentional with your words.
Why? Because “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.