Home Leadership Turn Archives Me RampUp Solutions Option Sanity
 


  • Categories

  • Archives
 

The Power Of Words

by Miki Saxon

Do words really make a difference? Can just one word change people’s perception of a person or event?

I’ve read several items lately on the importance of influence in leadership. Several even make the point that it’s the ability to influence that marks a person as a leader.

Personally, other than socially acceptable definitions, I don’t see a lot of difference between influence and manipulation.

Both influence and manipulation seek to produce an effect without any apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command.

But if you say someone has a lot of influence it’s a compliment; call the same person a master manipulator and you’d better duck.

It’s a good example of the real power that words have to inspire or crush even if their meaning is the same.

And it’s important to remember that words come with baggage that goes well beyond their actual definition.

That baggage was one of the main reasons corporate marketing departments made so many mistakes when moving from one culture to another.

  • Braniff translated its slogan relating to seat upholstery, “Fly in leather” to Spanish; only it came out as “Fly naked.”
  • Coors slogan, “Turn it loose,” means “Suffer from diarrhea” in Spanish.
  • Clairol, introduced a curling iron called the “Mist Stick” in Germany and learned the hard way that mist is slang for manure.
  • Gerber started selling baby food in Africa using US packaging with the baby on the label until they found out that in Africa the picture on the label indicates what’s inside since most people can’t read.

There are hundreds of similar mishaps. They made marketing departments a laughing stock, forced companies to hire locally, helped change the headquarters mindset and encourage global companies to be truly global.

The point of all this is to encourage you to take a few extra minutes to think through not only what you want to say, but also what your audience will hear when you say it.

That effort can make the difference between going up like a rocket or down like a falling star.

Your comments—priceless

Don’t miss a post, subscribe via RSS or EMAIL

Image credit: flickr

Leave a Reply

RSS2 Subscribe to
MAPping Company Success

Enter your Email
Powered by FeedBlitz

About Miki View Miki Saxon's profile on LinkedIn

About Ryan ryanrpew

About Marc marc-dorneles-cpcu-b8b43425

About KG View KG Charles-Harris' profile on LinkedIn

About Ajo View Ajo Fod's profile on LinkedIn

Clarify your exec summary, website, marketing collateral, etc.

Have a question or just want to chat @ no cost? Feel free to write or call me at 360.335.8054

Download useful assistance now.

Entrepreneurs face difficulties that are hard for most people to imagine, let alone understand. You can find anonymous help and connections that do understand at 7 cups of tea.

Give your mind a rest. Here are 2 quick ways to get rid of kinks, break a logjam or juice your creativity!

Crises never end.
$10 really does make a difference and you'll never miss it,
while $10 a month has exponential power.
Always donate what you can whenever you can.

The following accept cash and in-kind donations:

Web site development: NTR Lab
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.