The difference that a few well-chosen words can make …or not!

We all too often bark instructions, shoot from the hip,
and use “body language” to match.

It’s easy to forget in the fast lane in which so many now exist. 


We forget the impact on people. I was officiating at an athletic event at the weekend, Cheshire County Championships. A series of “cross country” races across age group.

By definition, coaches are there to carry on the work that they do with their athletes. Preparing them for an event and then on the day helping to get the best out of them. To encourage, to develop and to help to show them the way…No different to business. In fact very similar, as on the day, the athlete has to do it for themselves.

As I carried out my own duties, I watched the athlete’s race past. A cold and damp day…Heavy mud and dressed in just vests and shorts.

Far too often, I heard…”Work harder”…”Run faster”…” Put in more effort”… You get the gist of it.  How would the athlete feel? Would the instruction encourage…Would it create an improved performance? Are there parallels in the work place? Do we use words and comments, even body language that could even hinder best performance?

Before we speak, a number of things should happen…

Look…At who you are addressing

Select…Appropriate “Body language”

Engage…Eyes (don’t stare), ears (to hear both what is said & also what is not said!)

Select…Words to use

Speak…To the intended recipient

Finish…Allowing time for the recipient to take on board and then the process is mirrored, meaning…

Be attentive…and listen!


As the saying goes, “Think before you speak”!


“The single biggest problem in communication is the
illusion that it has taken place”

 George Bernard Shaw