5201 Positive Phrases

When you voice positive things about the other to express encouragement and support.

It’s sometimes hard to see the bright side of things and to stay inspired and motivated. If inspiration were easy, everyone would have it, and we’d all be living at our maximum potential every day.

 

We are constantly influencing people around us. It’s essential to consciously choose what kind of influence we want to be. With our communication behaviours we can choose to drag others down or focus on lifting them up.

Definition

DEFINITION

Positive phrases are focusing on stating what is and not what is not. These are sentences with positive, inspiring and encouraging words. They show strength and belief in the other and in their abilities. Positive phrases are statements that are believed to be factual. They don’t necessarily have to be accurate or true. They’re merely positive statements from a speaker or writer that are believed to be legitimate by the receiver. Positive sentences state something believed to be true by the receiver.

Benefits

BENEFITS

+ Uplift others by noticing their good qualities and voice them with kindness and appreciation.

+ Motivate others with supporting and encouraging sentences to create flow.

+ Positive culture is created from the virtuous cycle of positive feedback.

 

Challenges

CHALLENGES

–  Unclear intentions that create suspicions and undermine trust.

–  Phoney or exaggerating compliments that are not relatable for the receiver.

–  Wrong timing that makes it difficult or impossible to receive.

Skills Needed

SKILLS NEEDED

+ Empathy skills to understand the needs of the other and see what kind of positive phrase is most likely receivable for them.

+ Emotional intelligence to be self-aware of your own intentions and emotions as well as those of the other.

+ Contextual intelligence to choose the right timing and wording for your positive phrase in a way that feels genuine and respectful for the other.

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EXAMPLES OF USE

Positive phrases are used to show appreciation and support whenever that is needed. These sentences or statements support others to rise to the challenge. With positive phrases you’ll show support and encouragement. You can display comfort and reassurance. People feel cared for and appreciated.

+ Parents who wish to encourage their children in moments of doubt or failure

You were brave to try and test your limits. Next time it will be easier.”

+ Coaches or teachers who intend to boost and motivate their students

Susan, you have been worried about your finals. You have done well in the pre-tests! Now you know that there is more to you than dare give yourself credit for. You can do this!

+ Managers and leaders who aim to cultivate positive feedback

Lisa, you nailed the sales meeting today! You managed to point out the right benefits for this client.”

Instructions

INSTRUCTIONS

A positive phrase can be a compliment or encouragement as long it’s something the other can relate to. It’s important to be genuine and honest. If you are exaggerating too much or outright lying, positive phrases will backfire faster than you know creating mistrust and conflicts instead.  Use your emotional intelligence to recognise the appropriate times and suitable situations to use positive phrases in a natural way, as part of your conversation and thinking.

1. Noticing the situation

Analysing what is happening and what the other is feeling or needing.

2. Clarifying your intentions

Reflecting on why you would use a positive phrase in this situation.

3. Finding a positive angle to the situation

Reflecting where the silver lining is - the beauty and benefit in the situation or what is the advantage that comes from a difficult or unpleasant situation.

4. Choosing the right timing

Ensuring what is the respectful timing and situation for the other to receive your positive phrase - publicly, privately.

5. Verbalising the positive phrase


Choosing the right words for the situation and the person so that the message is easily receivable. 

Dumb Way

DUMB WAY

Scene: Tina and Laura are best friends. One Saturday afternoon they meet in a cosy downtown cafe. Tiina is stirring her tea absently. Her body language seems defeated.  ⚓  Colour coding anchor in Tina.

Tina: 😓   I got fired. They didn’t want to continue with me after my internship.

Laura looks at Tiina silently for a while. After a few seconds her face brightens up like a light bulb. Excitedly she says:

Laura: You have been working out in the gym so systematically. You just lost all that weight. You are skinny now!  That will help you in your job interviews. The research says skinny people earn more than fat people. And you have the best taste when it comes to clothing. You are such a trendsetter! 

😮  Tina looks shocked. Laura doesn’t seem to notice. She gets more excited and continues:

Laura: You know, being unemployed will teach you so much from life and living cheap. You’ll get to experience how it feels to be poor. Or homeless! 

😭I Tiina bursts in tears and runs towards the toilets, and Laura keeps shouting after her:

Laura: Learning is a gift - even pain is your teacher!  Stay positive!  Good vibes only! Practise happy thinking - every day! Carpe diem! C’est la vie! 

Smart Way

SMART WAY

Scene: Tina and Laura are best friends. One Saturday afternoon they meet in a cosy downtown cafe. Tiina is stirring her tea absently. Her body language seems defeated.  ⚓  Colour coding anchor in Tina.

Tina: 😢  I got fired. They didn’t continue my contract after the trial time. 

Laura: Fired - that’s why you are looking upset.

Tina: 😢  Yup. It wasn’t a perfect job, but still…

Laura: You are so skilled that in no time, you will have a new job. You are full of energy and extremely good with people. Anyone not hiring you would be stupid.

Tina: 😔 Thank you, Tiina. You indeed are a good friend. I feel a bit better already!

Laura: See, you are already smiling. It is impossible for you to be sad for long as you are such a positive, driven person. That will be noticed in job interviews you’re about to have soon. And who knows - the new job might be much more interesting and even better paid as the previous one! I certainly would hire you of all the people in the world! 

Tina: 🙂  Haha! You know how to make me feel happy again! Should we go online and look for some job announcements?

Laura: You want my help. I’m in! Absolutely!

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Ritual designer and communication coach, Anu keeps people on track with radical candor, humour, and her pragmatic “Sisu” - Finnish for determination.