Not long ago, I was running through the neighborhood when a boxer came barking and charging across a lawn right at me. I knew I couldn’t outrun the dog and figured running wouldn’t help me so I turned to face him and backed away.
I had heard once that “no” is a universal work that all dogs are familiar with, so I mustarded up my deepest, strongest, alpha-dog voice and said, “NO!” The dog stopped in his tracks and turned his head, clearly confused that I knew the magic word. He then glanced around him, like he thought his owner was nearby and he was being punked.
He turned back to me and turned his head to the other side. I repeated “NO!” I don’t think dogs can shrug their shoulders, but if they could he would have just before he turned around and walked back to take up sentry duty on his porch.
It’s not only our canine friends who respond to the right word, so do we. Words are powerful. The right word unleashes a tsunami of power. The right word has the power to persuade us, make us cry and make us laugh.
Concrete, specific words transmit so much more information than general words. For example, there is a big difference between eating “food” and eating “three scoops of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip ice cream.”
Don’t settle for just any word. Use the right word. The results will be powerful.