Words provide the wings to your ideas; your ideas fly high or fall to the dust by your words. Words are the tools with the help of which the mind shapes ideas.
You can think in terms of nothing else than words. When words run out, you will arrive at the end of your thinking. When your vocabulary runs out and you come to the end of your thinking, you will find yourself pathetically repeating yourself. Your thinking is exact only to the extent you have words to make it so. Words truly serve as the fuel of the mind as the latter cannot move without them.
Words have the magic power to move people. You can motivate people surely and swiftly by using the right words. You can make men and women sit up, shake themselves free and jump into action if you can use the exact words. “Awake, arise and stop not till the goal is reached,” said Swami Vivekananda about a hundred years ago and even today it sets you in instant action. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose and all other renowned and great leaders made millions act against great odds by using the right words at the right time.
Modern psychology tells just that human behavior is nothing but action resulting from stimulus. And bulk of the stimulus is provided by words in the spoken from. A leader should remember that the individual who knows what moves human beings will have no difficulty in moving ahead himself. “Many a treasure besides Ali Baba’s is unlocked with a verbal key.” There are words which will evoke positive response and put others in a friendly and receptive mood. There is also a knack of asking questions and the questions framed with the right words will invariably get the very answers you wish to have. Words can suggest and plant your ideas on others in a subtle and unobtrusive way. The power of suggestion has been reckoned as the most powerful influence in the world. The founders of all religious faiths have excelled in winning people over to their creed by skilful use of this suggestive technique.
It is absolutely true that thoughts and ideas are fundamentally responsible for all your physical reactions. If by the use of right words, one could influence your ideas and thoughts, you will act in the direction in which he or she wants you to act. The so-called hypnotic power in itself is nothing but the act of suggestion mostly through words. A look at the advertisement that appears every day in your newspaper and magazine can explain to you how people react to suggestion in many forms in everyday life. “I suggest this dress,” says the advertisement, “because you will make a terrific impact at the party” – and the dress is sold. “We recommend this paint,” says the expert, “because it makes your room appear bigger and brighter” – and the paint is bought by all those who have dark, tiny rooms.
As a matter of fact, no one could possibly help using suggestions in his day-to-day contact with others. But what you can certainly do is to use the suggestion for creating a favorable and positive impression. For this purpose, you have to employ positive, bright, sunny words which sound like weddings bells. There is much in the way a person puts across his ideas which he wants to covey to others. An assistant could not precisely follow what the boss wanted him to do. He quipped : “Would you mind repeating that, Sir ? What you said was rather confusing.” The boss got terribly annoyed and ordered that this assistant should never bother or waste his time in future. Another assistant said under similar circumstances: “I beg your pardon, Sir. I find it difficult to catch up with your thoughts. Can you possibly explain it in a bit more detail?” The boss was only too happy to oblige and explain to his subordinate who had difficulty in following his superior’s thoughts.
The leader has to select his words, so that they highlight the roses in brightness and keep the thorns in the background. He should invariably give the other individual a positive choice, that is a choice between something and something and not between something and nothing. In other words. he should ask “which” and not “if”. “You will run into trouble if you don’t maintain your car this this way” is not the correct approach. It will have a better appeal if the firm says, “Your car will give better service and consume less petrol if you maintain your car this way.
A leader who changes “my plan” to “our plan’ and “my approach” to “our approach” will find it easier to carry his men with him. He should avoid asking. “Will you do this?” He will be able to motivate instantly if he says. “When you do this….”. If you want you want to clinch an appointment, ask, “What time would suit you better, | or | in the morning?” The other person, in all likelihood will agree to one of the timings you have indicated. If not, he is apt to indicate the time convenient to him. The wording of our question being positive, it has already taken the appointment for granted. If you have asked, Can I have an appointment?” there is a possibility of getting a negative answer, especially if the other persons is buy and finds it difficult to think of a suitable time to spare you.
The restaurant which trained its waiters to ask of the dinners, “Will you prefer an ice cream, or would you have one of our special sweet dishes?” generally got an order for either of the two. When the waiters were earlier asking, “Would you like to have any sweet dish?” they often got negative answers and the restaurant had poor sales.
Using the words which subtly take things for granted is the suggestive methods of the hypnotist. Skillful suggestions haev the power to change a “no” into a “yes”. The leader must learn to use, therefore, the words that prohibit a “no” at the very start. A subtle suggestion is a powerful instrument in the hands of a leader who has also the other required assets. He must ask the questions which are positive and which can get the answers in them. To motivate and influence others, you have to start on a positive note.
- “I am happy to tell you….”
- “You will be keen to know….”
- “I have something very interesting….”
The audience will sit up and listen to you with special interest and enthusiasm. The leader must thus practice word magic. His words should convey positive ideas. He must use words to make others feel better and happier and give them the feeling of importance. You must always speak about cheerful things to ring the weddings bells.
Others have enough problems and troubles of their own and you don’t have to remind and add to them by talking about your misery. The will flock around you if you can ring the wedding bells with the choice of your words and attitudes. There may not be “magic words’ any more. But words certainly “work magic” and the leader must know them, master them and use them to attain success.
Personality Development Theories
The leader should know and clearly understand one basic reason why any human being does anything at all. He must probe, analyze and grasp the cause of all human activities. The best way to find the answer is to put the question to yourself. Why are you reading this article? Let us say that your answer is to improve your personality. Now let us ask the next question. Why do you want personality development? You might say you need it to attain success in life, to fulfill your ambition, to shine as a leader, to acquire wealth, power, fame, to serve the nation, world, people — in fact, for anything and everything. All right, now let us ask the next question. Why do you want to attain whatever that you are after? The ultimate answer would be that it gives you a sense of achievement, fulfillment, satisfaction, contentment, pleasure or happiness. Therefore, the ultimate aim of human activity is to attain happiness.
The playboy or spendthrift throws his money away: the miser hoards it. Both do so for the same reason : to find pleasure in doing so. All human beings want to be happy. They do so because they get pleasure in doing so. They seek pleasure and avoid pain. According to psychologists, all our actions, every one of them without exception-whatever we do-is governed by what is called the “pleasure-pain” principle. In other words, it is human nature to seek whatever brings pleasure to one’s self and avoid what brings pain.
We said there is no exception to this rule. You may ask about those who commit suicide. Again the answer is the same. To them, to continue to live is intolerable and painful. They try to find happiness in death. The soldiers march ahead in the face of enemy bullets because they cannot suffer the pain of being dubbed as cowards. Then, there is also the pain of facing a court-martial. A mother sacrifices for the sake of the child because it gives her a certain pleasure. Our actions are all governed by this ultimate aim. We may suffer now minor pains in order to attain future pleasure. You miss your sleep and study for the examinations so that you may enjoy the pleasure of passing the examination later. We may like to sleep, chat with a friend, see a picture of view the television but we study our lessons or attend to our work instead. We do so because we hope to reap more pleasure in the end by doing so.
Since this “pleasure-pain” principle forms the basis of all human actions, statesmen, politicians, salesmen, preachers, businessmen and leaders make good use of it in attempting to persuade and motivate others. Indira Gandhi used to win massive victory in the elections because she guaranteed security and prosperity to the majority of the people. She led the nation to victory against external aggressors. She brought about internal stability, law and order, and unity. She pledged to remove poverty and provide economic growth with social justice. Each act or promise talks in terms of promoting pleasure and avoiding pain. Most successful leaders of other countries also adopt the same technique.
Modern advertising employs the very same principle to motivate the consumers and clients. Pain can be physical as well as mental- anxiety, fear, guilt, remorse or qualms of conscience. Many may prefer to suffer some physical pain today to avoid mental pain later on. When we give a person the choice between something pleasant and something painful, he or she will usually accept the pleasant every time. However, when you point out that a little pain today will bring more pleasure tomorrow then that person will opt for the pain now. People would like to avoid things which are tiring, boring, uninteresting and inconvenient, unless they know or feel that such hardships would produce adequate pleasure in the future. People undergo serious diet restrictions, take strenuous exercises, spend hours in beauty saloons, so that they could appear beautiful or handsome and impress those whom they wish please thus gain satisfaction or pleasure.
The leader should, therefore, keep this basic factor in view while attempting to motivate and influence others and his and her own self. For instance, when you make a resolution to give up a bad habit and cultivate a new good habit for self-improvement, you must think about the pleasant things that will result from following the planned course of action and all the the painful results of not following it. When you are tempted to go in for that extra ice-cream, that cigarette, that drink you are attempting to stay away from, you must not think of the momentary pleasure but dwell on the future resultant pain. Then you would automatically opt for the minor pain or sacrifice now for the pleasure that will accrue in the future.
Any bad habit can be given up this way. Anything can be sold to the other individual if he is convinced that it would definitely contribute to his pleasure and happiness. When you wish to influence and motivate others, help them to get more pleasure and avoid unpleasantness or pain. You must offer others brightness, sunshine, success, thrills, adventure, power, recognition, name, fame, health, wealth and happiness instead of misery, gloom and suffering. If you are pleasant, courteous, well-mannered, considerate, warm, sympathetic, interesting giving instead of taking, offering instead of demanding, optimistic instead of pessimistic, others will find you a source of pleasure and seek out your company.
Always avoid causing pain and try to add to an individuals’ pleasure and you will find yourself to be the most successful leader. Think for a second before you act and ask yourself whether your word or deed will contribute to his present or future pleasure. If it will not, then do not say or do it. When you deal with groups, organizations and institutions, think in terms of their collective interests.
Happiness arises from one’s mental make-up, background, habits, education and experiences. One man’s food may be another man’s poison. There are individual differences, group influences and social factors. The leader should, therefore, look at things from the other individual’s point of view and think in terms of the latter’s interest. He should not go by his likes and dislikes, views and opinions. He must study the person, understand that individual and then do the right things that would surely and certainly contribute to his or her pleasure and happiness.