Word is Bond

Be intentional with your words.
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One Word Makes a Difference

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by TEDx Talks

Our words can motivate or paralyze. In this video, we see how replacing just one word in a phrase can shift the impact of a message.
  • Try Mary’s “and/but” exercise at your next team meeting.
  • Afterwards, notice if you feel the barriers she describes. 
  • Reflect on the words you use with your team on a regular basis. Are you building relationships, inspiring others, and creating momentum?
00:08
Detroit I can’t tell you how happy I am
00:13
to be here because I’ve been on the road
00:15
for the last two weeks and I took a
00:18
red-eye in from Seattle and I made it in
00:21
on time yes and the other great thing is
00:26
is that I got upgraded to seat 2b isn’t
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that perfect to be huh all right so I
00:36
want to start with an exercise so if you
00:39
could partner with someone with the
00:41
person next to you and it’s okay to have
00:43
a partnership of three all right so
00:47
everyone got a partner take a look at
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your partner and decide who has the
00:54
shortest hair
00:58
all right have we got that okay cuz this
01:05
exercise it just takes 30 seconds and
01:08
we’re so polite that it can take 30
01:11
seconds to decide who goes first right
01:13
and then the exercise is over so whoever
01:15
has the shortest hair is going first so
01:17
we’re clear on that all right so what
01:20
we’re doing is we’re making plans for a
01:23
tree house alright so this is how it
01:28
would go so whoever as a shortest hair
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goes first and you start by saying let’s
01:31
build a tree house okay so I’m gonna
01:33
pretend this is my partner alright so
01:36
they start with let’s build a tree house
01:38
all right then it’s my turn and when
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it’s my turn I say and let’s and I add
01:45
to it all right so let’s build a tree
01:47
house and let’s put carpet on it and
01:51
let’s put a refrigerator in it and let’s
01:55
put something good in the refrigerator
01:57
okay so do you see where we’re going
01:58
with this
01:59
so we’re say when it’s our turn when
02:01
it’s my turn I say and and let’s and I
02:05
add to it I’m timing this are you ready
02:09
ready set go
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all right we got our 30 seconds all
02:53
right come back to me
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we’ve got time delay deadlines here all
02:58
right so what kind of treehouses did you
03:00
have some pretty cool treehouses who had
03:03
an amazing treehouse all right
03:06
okay so now we’re doing the exact same
03:08
thing this time we’re making plans for a
03:11
swimming pool all right and this same
03:14
person goes first
03:16
and this time you’re only allowed to use
03:18
the word but in between let me get that
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timer ready because this is scientific
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ready set go
04:01
all right
04:05
so come back to me so how how was that
04:10
sucked did it suck alright so it was a
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different experience wasn’t it very
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different experience and so I’m curious
04:23
before we started the swimming pool
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exercise did you say to yourself well
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I’d like this to feel like work I’d like
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this to be hard I’d like it to take time
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and effort for me to come up with ideas
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I’d like my ideas to be disconnected
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okay I want to focus on what I don’t
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want what I don’t like and what isn’t
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possible I want to feel disconnected
04:46
with my partner I want to have less eye
04:48
contact I want to feel it odds with my
04:51
partner I’d like it to take energy I
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want to have to force myself in order to
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be positive so I want it to take energy
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in fact I’d like it to suck the life out
05:01
of me
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all right and I I don’t want to be able
05:05
to visualize the end result or see
05:07
myself in it and I want fewer ideas less
05:11
results did anyone say that before the
05:13
swimming pool exercise no yet that’s
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what happened
05:18
right yeah because of what I was
05:21
thinking and what I was saying made a
05:25
huge difference so when I used the word
05:28
but it was very different than using the
05:31
word and and if I had used the word
05:33
should instead of but and used could
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instead of and we would have had the
05:39
exact same result if I would have said
05:41
need to have two or must instead of but
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and I use and used I wonder instead of
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and I would have had a very different
05:51
result see it’s our nature to be happy
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it’s our nature to be healthy it’s our
05:59
nature to be full of energy and to
06:02
create energy that’s our nature it’s our
06:06
nature to be able to imagine and to
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create absolutely anything that we can
06:12
imagine and it’s our nature to be
06:15
connected
06:15
to be collaborative to want to make a
06:20
difference and contribute and help and
06:22
it’s our nature to be inspired and lit
06:25
up that’s our nature it’s just how I’m
06:29
thinking of thought and what I’m saying
06:32
can cause me to be in alignment with my
06:35
true nature or out of alignment with my
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true nature now I used to think that I
06:43
made no difference in the world or
06:45
little difference like it was hard for
06:47
me to imagine what kind of difference I
06:49
could be making and it was a huge AHA
06:52
for me to realize that what I was
06:56
thinking what I was saying made a
06:58
difference of considerable magnitude I
07:01
mean you could see the difference that
07:03
just one word of a thought made in just
07:06
30 seconds right and this is going on
07:10
all day long in in my work and in my
07:13
life within my own head and with
07:15
everybody that I’m in contact with so
07:19
that was really eye-opening for me so
07:23
for now now what I do is any time I’m
07:26
about to say anything or write anything
07:29
then I notice how I feel because I
07:33
either feel like I did in the treehouse
07:35
exercise or I don’t I’m either creating
07:40
or I’m not I’m either building a
07:43
relationship and strengthening a
07:45
relationship or I’m not I’m either
07:49
energized or I’m not I’m either
07:53
contributing helping making a difference
07:56
or I’m not when it comes down to it I’m
08:00
either inspired or I’m not and it’s when
08:04
I’m inspired that I chief significant
08:07
results so for me I I watch my words I
08:12
watch my words because my words
08:16
materialize my words create and they’re
08:20
creating for better or worse richer
08:24
poorer sickness health individually
08:29
and collectively my words matter so
08:36
Gandhi had said be the change you wish
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to see in the world I change it to be
08:40
the change I wish to see in the world
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and that’s how I’m being that change one
08:46
thought at a time and one word at a time
08:50
our words matter thanks

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