Published: 23rd January 2021
English Blues: Here's how to keep your language positive, encourage others to do so
Stating things differently in a way that is pleasant to the ears of the speaker and the listener/reader is an art that great communicators are good at
Words are like a double-edged sword. They can have positive as well as negative effects. They can cause or heal wounds. They can break or make relationships. They can make people’s lives bitter or better. Words have magical power. They can do wonders. Those who think positively use positive words. Positive words inspire and motivate people. To make this world a better place to live, we should use and encourage others to use positive language.
Stating things differently in a way that is pleasant to the ears of the speaker and the listener/reader is an art that great communicators are good at. Look at the messages below:
1. You have not enclosed all the documents that are required for processing your application. Unless you send the documents by January 25, we won’t be able to process them.
2. Good morning. We acknowledge the receipt of your application. We will be more than happy to process the application. Meanwhile, could you please send the following documents soon?
Which of the two messages will have a positive impact on the receiver? Let’s analyse the first example. It blames the receiver (You have not enclosed). It threatens the person (Unless you send). It sounds negative (we won’t be able to) and the tone is not pleasant. The words/phrases used are negative. Naturally, the impact is negative.
Let’s analyse the second message. It starts with a greeting (Good morning). It makes the receiver feel at home. The tone is pleasant. The message contains many positive words and phrases (acknowledge, more than happy, could you please). Of course, the impact is positive.
READ MORE: The subtle art of persuasion: Why these skills are important to change preconceived notions
At times, we may have to convey a negative message to someone. An effective communicator will convey a negative message in a positive or constructive manner without hurting the feelings of candidates or discouraging them. Here are some sentences from various rejection letters and emails written with a negative tone:
-You have not been shortlisted for the position.
-As you do not satisfy the expectations of the company, we could not...
The sentences above have negative words and phrases. The tone is negative. The letters/emails directly attack the applicants and hurt their feelings. While writing rejection letters or email it is important to write with a positive tone and use positive language. The receiver of the rejection letter or email should not feel that they have been rejected. Here are examples of sentences in rejection letters written with a positive tone.
-Thank you for taking the time to go through our application and applying for the position.
-We regret to inform you that your application
-We appreciate the effort you made in applying.
-We wish you the best of luck with your future applications.
-We wish you success in your future endeavours.
The sentences above carry empathy, sound encouraging and stress positive actions. These are some of the qualities of positive language.