Speak Life Day
We’re so excited about our Speak Life Day! More and more research shows how the words we think and speak create whole worlds, bringing our thoughts into life. The subconscious mind regards the words and thoughts that get lodged inside it as expressing and describing a real situation, and endeavours to align the thoughts, words and then actions.
Words have the power to make things happen. You thought it. You said it. You did it. There is power in words. What you say is what you get. Just think about saying something as simple as “Pass the salt” at the dinner table. What gets passed to you? Not the sugar. The salt. Your words have power. Use them wisely!
We know that using positive words like “I can, I will” have a massive impact. Using them for yourself and others can literally change your life, and the life of other people. That is the whole reason or the “why” of love mugs. We want to change people’s lives for the better by bringing positive words into the everyday. Mugs are a great way to do this as you use them and see them repeatedly throughout the day. But you don’t have to buy a mug to enjoy the benefits of positive words. Speak Life Day is about helping us to practise speaking life. Just use them! Say it, write it, text it! Speak Life Day is here to remind us to say more, say words that encourage and inspire. Don’t just think nice things about your friends and colleagues. SAY it! We just don’t know how long we’ll have the opportunity or what an impact we can have. Simple words of encouragement can make all the difference to someone’s day.
We’re really excited about encouraging as many people as possible to practise speaking life. So we’re running a special Speak Life Day competition all week. Everyone who comments on our Instagram feed, sends us a DM or comments on this blog telling us who you’ve spoken life to and what you’ve said will get a free Speak Life mug. We can’t wait to hear your stories!
Say it. Write it. Text it. Share it. Say more. Speak Life Day.
Please see below, for a quick guide to Speaking Life if you need some help…
Speak Life: A Beginners Guide
Hello, and welcome to a Speak Life Beginners Guide.
I learned how to speak life from my Dad. He was exceptional at using the gift of encouragement, as he called it. It would amaze me to see the impact he had on others and watch their faces light up on the doorstep of our house. I had the privilege of growing up watching this, first hand. I now practise this almost unconsciously. I’m going to break this down and teach you, step by step, what he did, and how you, too, can bring almost immediate joy into people’s lives.
At the door, it was never just a nod and a muted “hello.” It was a massive smile, arms outstretched ready for a hug for one of my (teenage) friends and:
“Rosie! How wonderful to see you! Come in! How radiant you are looking today!”
So in the greeting, we have a triple impact: a smile, a greeting and then on top of that the use of superlatives:
Never just “good” or “lovely”. Really descriptive, elevating words that brought out the difference in that person, that elevated their spirit out of the everyday and into the realm of the extra-ordinary. The words would shock you into listening, because you hadn’t been called radiant or angelic before that day. And that is how he made you feel. Extra-ordinary.
Then he had a great way of observing, appreciating and reflecting those observations back. For example, he might see me with a friend who was upset, and after they had left, tell me how kind I had been, and how much that had touched him, and how my friend was so lucky to have me. Observing the good and reflecting it back to people helps them feel seen, valued and appreciated, and then it encourages them to do it again. It affirms who they are, what they’re good at, and then how they choose to live.
I’ve broken down the art of “Speaking Life” into four stages:
Stage 1: Smile
Stage 2: Greet
Stage 3: Appreciate
Stage 4: Speak it
Stage 1 and 2 are the easiest to start with. Sure, you might not feel like smiling at people when you see them, but the research has shown that the more you smile, the happier you feel, so you’re actually boosting your own feel-good hormones every time you flash that stunning smile of yours at someone else.
I love smiling. It does puzzle some people, but the more they get to know me, the more they realise I am actually smiling at them. It makes me even happier when they smile back! I once played a game with a big boss at work in the city. He was super senior, and I was fairly junior at the time, and he wasn’t exactly a bunch of laughs, to put it politely. Every time I passed him, I smiled warmly and said “hello” and used his name. He wasn’t really a smiler, this guy. Didn’t really speak to juniors. But I persisted. Every day. Smile. Hello. Soon it was a game. And guess what. He broke. Maybe four months in. Smiling back. Saying hello. Job done. Breakthrough achieved. Connection made. (Fun had).
Stage 2: Greet is slightly more advanced than just the smiling. It does amaze me how many people come into work without greeting each other. Sure, sometimes it’s impossible to say hi to everyone on your way in if you work in an office of 6,000, but it sure helps you feel connected, valued and appreciated. Sometimes I now make a joke of this. I try not to interrupt my team when I come in as I do the school run and I’m often a little later than the others. I also work with some super clever people who like to think and work really quietly. That’s a bit different from me, but that’s OK. Sometimes that means I say hello to a team member for the first time on a Wednesday afternoon. You don’t need to hear all about their weekend, their broken boiler or their commute to work, you can just start by saying a quick “hey”. That’s your day to day connections. For those people you don’t see so often, a big smile and a “brilliant to see you” always works wonders. What’s so nice about that is that no-one did anything. They just rocked up in the flesh, and you appreciate that.
Stage 3: Appreciate: OK, so now we’re getting into more challenging territory. This involves observing others and drawing out the things that you appreciate about them, or their talents. This might be a simple thank you or a well done. Even that can take some courage in the work place. Thank you makes people feel seen and appreciated. For holding a door open, for a cup of tea, for helping with some tech issue. Use it as much as you can. Then well done is another step up. Start with a well done on any decent achievement – the report, the conversation, the spreadsheet. Then well done during the job as well, for persevering and persisting while it’s hard work, messy and not looking great. Well done doesn’t have to wait until the job is finished. You can say well done for the effort gone into the process. And saying well done doesn’t mean you never say – no that’s not right - at another point. You never have to “take back” a well done.
So let’s use the example of saying thank you for lunch.
“Thank you for lunch, Emily. I really enjoyed it”. Boom. Job done.
Stage 4: Speaking it: Really appreciating goes a little further than thank you and well done. You have to take the time to notice, to see people for who they are and what they bring to the table. Very often that may be different to what you bring, but the alternative angle or the card you didn’t think of playing or the risk you were unaware of all add up to something helpful. Equally the way people do things is also key – how did they lead the meeting? Were they friendly and inclusive; or did they keep to the agenda and the timetable efficiently? Both approaches can be appreciated.
Once you’ve observed something that can be appreciated, the next step is to clearly articulate it verbally to them. This is when you say: “Jeanette I love the way you lead our meetings. You are so friendly and open and encourage contributions from everyone. The agendas you create are really engaging and you create a sense of team in an environment where that is not easily done.” Saying what you see and reflecting the value back massively boosts a person’s self-esteem and sense of worth.
Or in our example of lunch: “Emily, thank you for the delicious (use of superlatives) lunch. I loved the fresh, creative food and so appreciated the love and care you put into it. (what they did) Chloe and I enjoyed it so much I am going to make that salad next week (reflecting back the impact they had on you). We all loved seeing you and the kids. Our kids loved hanging out with your kids and we had a lot of fun playing empire together. You were so generous in your hospitality. Thank you.”
These stages build on one another – you cannot move straight to stage 4 without smiling and greeting – you will come across as both unbelievable and a bit scary! Start with warmth and connection and then, as you start to feel a bit more comfortable, move into speaking life.
Try it. Give it a go. Start with a smile. And see what happens. Who knows. You could make someone’s day.