Her language is a traitor

This was the perfect place to end a glittering ball night with a small beer and goulash soup. Every time I’m here, I remember the many Viennese balls I visited as a teenager. Here at the Hotel Regina in Vienna the crowning finale.

But today I’m here for a completely different reason. Our Lions club meeting is back on the agenda today. And it’s a great opportunity to see what people talk to each other and how they interact. Most people talk about themselves or want to convince the other person of their own opinion, an exchange of opinions. But how well will they succeed?

It’s the form that counts, not the content.

Think about baking a cake for a minute. The contents, i.e. the dough, fit into many different shapes, Nikolo shapes and Easter bunny shapes. Not every shape is suitable for every occasion, is it not? Or to the wonderful wine that tasted so great on holiday, from which you absolutely wanted to take home a bottle – but at the first sip full of expectation from the noble glass in the cosy living room, this wine is only moderately good at best.

The success of communication depends very rarely on the content. Rather, it depends on HOW we communicate. So it depends on how we express ourselves. Because the way we use language reveals how we think.

Thought and language are close relatives

Let’s set an example. Someone in your company says the following to you: “The market is not yielding any more”. A classic in sales departments.

The classic answer, depending on your position in the company, could be “yes” or “no“. So at the level of content. The hard discussion about the correctness of this statement seems inevitable. Pure confrontation is inevitable.

Before answering in any way, stop for a moment and consider the following possibility: also go to a meta-level and make the following statements there:

  • It’s “only” a conviction of that person that contains an assumption of that person about himself, such as “I can’t do it anymore.
  • This conviction, as it is formulated, is considered valid forever.
  • This conviction is linked to a personal emotion that we do not know.
  • It is unclear who exactly is meant by “the market”.
  • It is unclear what exactly is meant by “not giving up”.
  • Because of this conviction, this person will do nothing further to work the market, because that would be pointless from your point of view.
  • The negation “The market is not yielding any more” describes an away-from behavior, and no goal, what the market could or should give away.

Language is a traitor

Let’s get this straight. What does this statement about the speaker, which at first sounds lapidary, reveal?

  1. A conviction that this person has.
  2. Behind the conviction is an emotion that will not be betrayed. It could be anxiety and/or annoyance or something like that.
  3. It is clearly said that nothing further will be done as long as this conviction exists.
  4. Assumptions are made that are unclear.
  5. The person would rather prefer to be “somewhere else”.

When we talk about content, we experience argumentation that easily leads to confrontation. It is therefore much more clever to analyse the form of heard statements. Because form tells us much more than the actual content.

So what are the five facts that your language reveals about you?

  1. Your beliefs.
  2. Your hidden emotions about your convictions.
  3. Your future behaviour.
  4. Your assumptions.
  5. Your current emotional state.

So we are much more an open book than we would initially believe.

What does the solution look like?

In any case, consider the form of your communication and the form in which you want to disseminate your content. Make sure you have a form that makes it easy for the recipient to accept your content. The appropriate question word to fathom structures and form is the question word “HOW“. Whenever you are confronted with findings, simply ask: “HOW do you know that?” This initially unfamiliar question works wonders. You will see that the quality of your communication reaches a new clear level.


Thomas W. Albrecht arbeitet mit Menschen, die Vollgas geben und am Anschlag stehen, ihre Denkmuster umzupolen und auf Erfolgskurs zu bringen.

Er ist Speaker, Autor, Coach und Mentor, sowie Mitglied im Österr. Gewerbeverein und im Wirtschaftsforum der Führungskräfte Österreichs. Aus seiner langjährigen Erfahrung als Führungskraft und als Unternehmer weiß er was es bedeutet, Verantwortung zu tragen und immer wieder an Grenzen zu stoßen.

Vielen seiner Klienten geht es so, dass sie bis zum Umfallen arbeiten, der Haussegen bereits schief hängt, den PartnerIn und die eigenen Kinder kaum noch sehen, der Stress einen übermannt und die Grenzen der Überforderung überschritten sind. 

Er bringt sie zurück zu Ihrer Authentizität und zu Ihrer Lebensfreude, damit sie in Zukunft in jeder Situation wieder klar, fokussiert und exzellent handeln können. https://twa.gmbh

Thomas W. Albrecht works with people who give full throttle and are at the point of changing their thinking patterns and putting them on the road to success.

He is a speaker, author, coach and mentor, as well as a member of the Austrian Trade Association and the Austrian Business Forum for Managers. From his many years of experience as a manager and as an entrepreneur, he knows what it means to bear responsibility and to push the limits again and again.

Many of his clients work until they drop, their house blessings are already hanging crooked, their partners and children can hardly be seen, stress is overwhelming and the limits of excessive demands are exceeded.

It brings them back to their authenticity and to their joy of life so that they can act again clearly, focused and excellently in every situation in the future.

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