Being different, making a better world, a more social-driven business – that’s what we have in mind as social entrepreneurs, haven’t we?
Creating social impact has also a language dimension, a dimension which might open doors and help to create the difference in business we are looking for.
Have you ever thought on the words you use when you communicate?
Besides the way on how we handle and drive our (social) enterprise, the way how we communicate and what we tell inside our teams and to our external stakeholders and audience plays an important role.
There is a famous quote from George Orwell, Animal Farm: “All words are equal, but some words are more equal than others.” I have read an interesting article on this issue, the so-called power words:
‘… words that hold more sway over our decision making process than others. You might be surprised to find that these “power words” don’t seem … well, all that powerful.
This speaks to just how damned efficient they are. Simple language is crystal-clear language, and these words make it clear just what you want your reader to do.
And you might be surprised just how effective these deceptively simple words can be…
(But)… you must understand why these words are persuasive, and you must use them in the contexts that make sense for your audience and your business. If you just start slapping them on every piece of content you create for no apparent reason, you’ll quickly see just how unpersuasive they can be.’ ( source – see related material below)
Three magic words for social entrepreneurs
Everyone loves to be in the center of attention. Using “you” instead of “I ” changes the entire way on how we present our thoughts to people. If we demonstrate what WE /I do, it might (hopefully) be interesting to others. But often it happens that the listener does not feel the impact on his own activity and a re-action often is missing. If we show what is in for YOU and why our message is relevant to YOU the message gets different and more attractive to people. Just remember some situations where you have heard or read your own name. Or where you were directly mentioned, where examples were demonstrated in a personalized way to our communication partner. We all become more engaged and even more trusting of a message in which our name appears. So, making the YOU a protagonist in meetings, telephone calls etc. is always the better choice than just talking about ourselves.
Everybody loves free.
Of course, as a social entrepreneur you have to gain money. This is the business part and without we cannot really survive. But think of a possibility to offer something for free when you communicate. Use free where it makes sense, such as free guides, information, support….
A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.
If you say I need a car, you get a car. If you say I need a car “because I want to travel to Rome” you get much more. Maybe an additional idea on how to get there, what to visit, where to pay attention on etc. with the BECAUSE the car becomes a simple tool, not more, not less. But the focus is your vision behind, the big reason. And this makes it much more understandable.
There might be additional magic words.
Which one comes into your mind?
The Psychology of Language: Why Are Some Words More Persuasive Than Others?