The Seven Wisdoms - WISDOM FOUR - Speak Empowering Language | By Fran Fisher, MCC

Wooden Tree as Bookshelf for Coaching Wisdoms


This week we continue a series of articles by Fran Fisher MCC, based on her book, "Calling Forth Greatness, Seven Coaching Wisdoms for Transforming Your Life".

Fran is a Master Certified Coach, Author, Speaker, and Champion for Learning, Growth and Transformation. In this series, Fran shares her passion for bringing the empowerment philosophy and principles of coaching into everyday living. Her vision is a world where the coaching approach is woven into our fabric of life!

See all 7 wisdoms here.

WISDOM FOUR - Use Empowering Language

Language is power. When we speak, we exercise the power of language to transform reality. Julia Penelope

Coaches use empowering language and help clients raise awareness of the language they use so they can transform their reality

The words we use express our thoughts, feelings and attitude. And our thoughts, feelings, and attitude drive our actions. Words combined with sound (voice) are energy vibrations that affect us physically, mentally and emotionally - they have the inherent capacity to give energy or take energy away.

Coaches know that words are clues that identify underlying beliefs and attitudes that may be blocking the client from achieving positive results.

Negative self-talk can diminish your ability to make positive changes or break through to new levels of success and fulfillment. So take care to use empowering, energizing, inspiring language when speaking to yourself as well as with others. What you say and how you say it impacts your experience, whether verbally or in writing.

  • Empowering language is responsible, powerful, and energizing!
  • Disempowering language is power-less. When we think it and speak it, we diminish ourselves and others.

Disempowering language keeps us sick and weak. Carolyn Myss

Language has an impact not only on a mental level, but also at other subtle levels. Your words can convey underlying messages to your subconscious, evoking physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual implications.

An Example

My client Robert was frustrated because he was not making progress toward his goal of finishing his first year in business with a 10% profit. At the same time he was speaking language like, "I should make more cold calls". When I challenged Robert to make a commitment to an action, he would respond with "probably" or "maybe I will". When he talked about his relationship with his business partner, he would point his finger and use "blame" language, like "He always makes me _______".

As his coach, I offered Robert feedback that his walk and his talk didn't match. In other words, it was like driving his car toward his goal with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake.

Practical Empowering Language Tips

  • Avoid any word or phrase that implies lack of freedom as these tend to feel disempowering. For example, "have to," "should," "can't," "will not," etc. This language invites a feeling of victimization, which is then reinforced by more disempowering language.
  • Avoid absolutes, such as "always" and "never".
  • Avoid "I'll try". Instead, it's more powerful to declare what you will do.
  • Practice using empowering language such as "I choose to _______", "I intend to _______", "I will _______", and "It's important to me to _______" etc.
  • Speak in "I" language when sharing your experience - people listening to your story will be more engaged. This means connect with and share your own experience vs. speaking in generalities using "you" language. For example, "When I have an insight I feel lighter," vs. "When you have an insight you feel lighter."


Language is a powerful creative force. You have the opportunity to create what you want more of, beginning with your thoughts. You construct your fortunes and misfortunes with the thoughts you choose to think.

...impulses of energy and information that we experience as thought ...are the raw material of the universe. Deepak Chopra, MD

How to Benefit from this Wisdom:

As you read each of The Seven Wisdoms in this article series, you'll be asked to reflect on how you can apply these principles in your own life or work. Choose one way that works for you, and apply it to each principle. You could keep a specific notebook for this process or simply use your journal.

Here are a few ways you can benefit more deeply from this wisdom:

  • Your Calling Forth Greatness Inquiry: What is my intended impact for what I am thinking or saying? Reflect on this Calling Forth Greatness Inquiry for a day or a week. Notice what shows up; notice the impact; notice what you learn.
  • Visualize how your life and the lives of others around you could be empowered using this Coaching Wisdom.
  • Using this Coaching Wisdom as your focus; Journal around your learning or design your own inquiries to deepen your learning.
  • Work with a support buddy; share your challenges, progress, and learning; celebrate your results!

Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? Shirdl Sai Baba

Watch for Fran's Next Monthly Article, WISDOM FIVE: "Be Committed to Transformation"

© 2019 Fran Fisher, MCC

Check out Fran's free teleclasses here.

If this article resonates with you, get the whole book: Calling Forth Greatness, Seven Coaching Wisdoms for Transforming Your Life, available here on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

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Contributing Author:

Fran Fisher, Master Certified Coach, MCC. is a champion for the power of coaching and its transformational impact in the world. She is one of the pioneers of the coaching profession and a founding executive board member of the ICF. She specializes in coaching and mentoring coaches for their MCC. Connect with Fran on LinkedInFacebook and learn more about her free resources for coaches at

Learn more about Fran & see all their articles here >>

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