In movies, magic words open secret doors, get genies to grant you wishes, and transport you to faraways lands. Words might not have quite as much power in the real world, but they come close.
Do you ever feel like you can’t get through to your team, and everyone seems to be resentful, defensive, or put-upon? In her book Daring Greatly, researcher Brené Brown lists a series of key phrases that help people connect with each other from a place of trust and honesty.
These phrases may make you feel vulnerable, but that’s the point. To succeed, we need to be willing to take a risk and put our thoughts and feelings on the line. This is the exact opposite of a shame culture, which I wrote about on Thursday. If you can say one of these things to a team member who is antagonistic to you, you might just feel their defenses melt away – like a linguistic karate chop.
Here are the 20 magic words, sorted by what they communicate:
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