If you have never read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, I would highly recommend it. It really challenges how we see the world we live in. The big lesson for me in this book was the fact that we can only control our actions, emotions and thinking. We can’t control others or what they think about us, so why do so many of us spend our energy on this? Let’s spend our limited amount of daily energy on what we can control in our lives!
Check out the book here:
This is a four part series covering the four agreements and how those can be applied in our leadership journey.
Part 1: The First Agreement: Being Impeccable with our word.
How much power does our word have on others?
Our world is not a magical one where spells are cast on each other. The world we live in revolves around communication between humans around the world. With the power of internet our word can be spread easily and has more power then any other time in history. Our word is the most powerful tool we have that falls short of wizardry spells.
Being impeccable with our word is a leadership muscle that all leaders should grow. It is critical for a leader to be trusted by his peers to have success in his/her leadership role. Our word is the best tool to gain this trust. Don’t get me wrong, the word is nothing without action but it is the first step to building strong lasting relationships in both our personal and professional lives.
The words we speak are very powerful instruments that we all use on a daily basis. In the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz he describes the word as magic illustrating that it has allot more power over others then people can imagine. He also describes the word as either “bad magic” or “good magic”. Bad magic is described as poison that an individual sends to another individuals using his word. Good magic in turn is the positive words that we send to others.
Here are my top ten tips to ensure that our word is used to build and not destroy:
- Take the time to reflect before speaking. This sounds so simple but we can all improve in doing this better.
- It’s ok to say “No” when you are not 100% confident that you can follow through on the answer.
- “Let me look into it and get back to you” is a phrase that no one should be afraid to use. If you are not sure then don’t answer until you are.
- Consult with others if needed to ensure you give the correct answer.
- Ask questions until all is clear and don’t be shy to take the time needed to clarify the facts. Don’t make assumptions! Deal only with facts.
- Gossiping is a poison. We should not spread this poison. We should keep our word positive and keep negative talk about others and rumours in our mind where no one can enter. We can’t always control our thoughts but we can control our tongue.
- Always be respectful and approach all discussions with care for the other individual. People will not follow a leader that “bashes” others with their word. (Hint: Your leadership muscles are not meant for this purpose!)
- Try to keep negative emotions out of the conversation as much as possible.
- Once you commit with your word ensure to follow through with your actions and your word will be trusted and respected.
- Sometimes it’s best not to say anything. Listen and ask the right open ended questions and people will feel like you really do care for them.
Reflecting on major world leaders in history you can usually always find their words quoted in stories written about them. Great speeches live on forever. The magic of their words lives on for years, decades and centuries.
How do we want our words to be remembered? Will we use bad or good magic?
How do you ensure that your word is impeccable? What tips would you add to my list? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
I will be expanding on the tips above in future posts so please like my Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss out on future posts.
Check out Part 2 Here.