The Language of Leadership – Part 3

Use Towards Language

If you believe you can or believe you cannot do something, either way you are likely to be right”  Henry Ford

To inspire and motivate (yourself and others) you need to make sure you are using Towards language – rather than Away From language.  Here’s a simple table to illustrate the difference.

Away From Language Towards Language
Don’t want… Do want…. Will do ……
Can’t Can…….Will…..
Problems, pitfalls, risks Solutions, opportunities, challenge
Hard, difficult, struggle Challenging
Lose, eliminate, get rid of Gain, get achieve, attain
Can be considered “negative” and draining Can be considered “positive” and inspirational
Shaking of head Nodding of head

Towards language promotes forward movement and momentum in order to achieve, gain and get what you need and want. It is considered more motivational and inspirational due to it’s “can do” approach, energy and resulting inspiration.

Identify what your natural tendency is. If you’re more of an “away from thinker”, make a conscious change in your language when you want to inspire and step up to being an effective leader.

I use an analogy with AA Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” for the Away From and Towards characters.  You’ve guessed it – Eeyore is our Away From and Tigger our Towards characters.  So, be a bit more Tigger to inspire!

Enjoyed reading this? Read Part 4 of The Language of Leadership here!


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