Words Matter

Gracious Words

Attitudes make a difference as do intentions, temperament and our moods. And what we do in terms of our conduct is also vital to the quality of our relationships and impact on others. These ways of being frequently manifest themselves in our language, specifically in the choice of words.

Sad to say, our words can ruin another person’s day, perpetuate discouragement, increase loneliness or fracture relationships. On the other hand, words can be a source of encouragement, offer consolation and help others get through difficult times–even pandemics.

Think for a moment about your reaction to the following questions that are the same but for two words. To add emphasis, let’s say they come from your boss.

  • So, Zach, what do you think went wrong here?”

  • So, Zach, what do you think is missing here?”

If you are like most people you would rather explain what was missing than what you did wrong. In this instance, “missing” is a more gracious word.

Gracious words bear others up, communicate kindness and compassion, and reflect the fact that we are thoughtful of others and aware of their feelings. Wouldn’t it be great if we all used more gracious words as advised in this month’s proverb found below?



Proverbs 16:24

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to
the soul and healing to the bones.


Can't Not Do

Words Can Change Your Brain
Andrew Newberg, M.D. & Mark Waldman

(Penguin Random House, 2012)

This book offers excellent insight to those seeking to strengthen their relationships, but it is also an excellent resource for persons in leadership roles who want to be more effective, collaborative and creative.

The Twelve Strategies of Compassionate Communication serve as the springboard for increasing the ability to communicate with others. They are:

         – Relax
         – Stay present
         – Cultivate inner silence
         – Increase positivity
         – Reflect on your dearest values
         – Access a pleasant memory
         – Observe nonverbal cues
         – Express appreciation
         – Speak warmly
         – Speak slowly
         – Speak briefly
         – Listen deeply

 Words Can Change Your Brain is very understandable and incorporates exercises that readers can practice as they seek to improve their skills. In fact, the last three chapters of the book lay out strategies for applying Compassionate Communication with loved ones, in the workplace and with kids.


If you are curious about curiosity this book is for you.

Purchase this and other recommended books at amazon, your local bookstore or through CherryHillHighTide.com bookstore.

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