Positive Language In the Workplace

WRITTEN March 22, 2023 Author: Patricia McCormack

Positive language in the workplace is an essential tool for effective communication. 

Positive Language is the use of words and phrases that convey positive and supportive messages. Using positive language when speaking with coworkers creates a sense of trust, respect, and motivation among team members, which is beneficial to the overall productivity and success of any organization.

If you think about it, English speakers especially almost always have the option of using either a positive statement or a negative statement to convey the same meaning. For example, “come to the meeting on time” and “do not come to the meeting late” are similar messages; however, the undercurrent behind the second option is much more aggressive and negative.

When you use language that is kind, encouraging, and supportive, it helps to create a welcoming and positive atmosphere where people feel valued and appreciated. Managers and authority figures in particular should keep this in mind while addressing their teams.

Moreover, positivity helps to improve communication and collaboration among team members, which can ultimately lead to better problem-solving and decision-making. Keeping it positive also helps to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts by encouraging open and honest communication.

Avoiding Negativity:

Think about seeing the bright side, cups half-full, and especially those beautiful silver linings. Putting an optimistic spin on what is normally negative or even neutral, can make a difference in the way you connect with people.

One of the easiest ways to implement this in your speaking and writing is to replace negative words and phrases with positive choices. Here are some examples:

  1. Stating What Can Be Done.

NEG: We cannot process your application until we receive the paperwork.

POS: Once you send in your paperwork we will process your application.

  1. Using Verbs In A Positive Way

NEG:  Don’t Touch – Wet Paint!

POS:  Stay Back – Wet Paint!

  1. Presenting Options Instead of Just the Negative

NEG: We are not open on Friday.

POS: We are open Monday through Thursday.
  1. Removing Blame/Shame and Provide Solutions
NEG: If you had closed the door, the alarm would not have been triggered.
POS: Close the door tightly to keep the building secure.
  1. Using a Respectful Tone
NEG: This may be hard for you to understand…
POS:  OK, here is where things get interesting…

Ultimately, the way you express yourself affects whether your message is received positively or negatively.

Use positive vocabulary, have an optimistic tone, and remember to be constructive in your comments. Create a healthy and supportive environment where colleagues feel comfortable and motivated to do their best. Cultivate and encourage positive language among your team, and have a significant impact on the overall productivity and success of the organization.

IC Quick TipPeople respond better to positively-slanted messages. That reaction should be considered when a marketing plan is in development. Focus on positive thinking when strategizing for any ad campaign. Using positive statements in a marketing  email campaign can increase the likelihood of a sale and reinforce the idea of strong brand quality. 

This has been taken from our Business Writing and Public Speaking classes. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.


Positive Language in Customer Service

What is Positive Language and How Does It Benefit the Workplace

Original Image by James Cridland on Flickr

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