15 phrases

by Stacey Mason ([email protected]) 622 views 

Words have meaning; we should choose them carefully. I overheard someone say that years ago, and it struck a chord with me — and not just because I love language. With just over 1 million words alone in the English language, I think there truly must be a way to arrange them into meaningful phrases and sentences to say all the things we want to say or hope to convey — in a thoughtful, intentional way.

So as we celebrate this year’s Fast 15, I thought I would share 15 phrases that can help connect us to others, explore things we don’t know, and level set our inner dialogue.

FOR CONNECTIVITY
Tell me more. Usually, there is more to the story. And if you don’t get all the details, you’re apt to respond at a surface level. Going deeper is where real understanding and connection is forged.

What do you care about? People care deeply. And if you can get them to tell you what’s in their heart, you will hear the truest version of who they are. You will really “see” them — and that can make all the difference in a relationship.

What do you need from me? We can guess and make assumptions all day long – and miss the mark entirely. What if we just simply asked others what we really needed from us? No agenda, no hidden message. Just clarity.

Who else needs to know? Nothing exists in isolation. We are all connected. If you now know, there are others who need to know as well.

I was wrong. It’s clean, clear, concise. No qualifiers. An entire world of meaning and emotion is conveyed in three syllables.

FOR EXPLORATION
Let’s start with Q&A. It’s presumptuous of me to begin telling you what I want you to know. I need to know what you want to know.

I don’t understand. When you admit to yourself (and others) that you don’t understand something, that is the moment you start learning.

Stacey Mason

How do you know that? In the long run you’re looking for an answer. But first what you really need to know is how someone arrived at an answer. Learning involves a process.

Come with me. We talk “at” people all day long. The learning — the real journey — begins when we take them with us.

What do you want to tell me that I haven’t asked you? That moves the conversation from my agenda to your agenda. Because it’s not all about me.

FOR MINDSET
I wonder why? It’s hard to be judgmental when you’re busy being curious. Lean in to a profound state of curiosity.

I need help. Asking for help is bold and courageous. And smart. No one can do it all, all the time. There is nothing more powerful than the person who asks for help.

I’m processing. There is an overwhelming amount of stimuli coming at us all the time. To believe that we can sort through all of that noise and make appropriate thoughtful decisions — consistently and rapidly — is absurd. You need time to process. Take the time you need.

What am I missing? Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. If you’re the proverbial outlier, then you just might be missing something. Of course you could see something everyone else is completely missing. So either way, it’s a powerful question.

What if? What if we changed the language we used when connecting with others? What if we asked more and better questions? What if learned to talk to ourselves with more empathy?

Words absolutely do have meaning. And yes, we should choose them carefully.

Ancora Imparo… (Still, I am learning)

Stacey Mason is the founder of The Improv Lab, a professional development business in Bentonville. More information is available by calling 479-877-0131. The opinions expressed are those of the author.