Small things often make a big difference. Words are one major example of this. Servant leaders understand that their words can shape relationships, workplace culture, and any interactions they have.

I listened to a speaker last week that had spent 30 years serving on the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He was a master at the use of words. He shared how important it was when he was arresting someone to use words that showed the individual dignity and respect even in these tense, sometimes perilous situations.

In this situation the opposite would be an officer that was trying to show their positional power over the individual and just yelling at them and bossing them around telling them what to do. His choice of words made all the difference in making tough situations palatable.

Servant leaders are intentional about using “Life-giving words” as opposed to “Life-taking words”. They use words that will build self-esteem. They recognize that every word used in any interaction can make a significant difference in a person’s life.

Life-giving words / phrases might include:

  • You are doing a fabulous job
  • Our team would not be the same without you
  • You are amazing
  • You are a true blessing
  • I am proud of you
  • You are created exactly the way God wanted you
  • Thanks

It is also important to recognize that your vision for a preferred future can come alive with words. If you want to see it…. Say it! Words are powerful.

If you want to change your life – change your words.

If you want to change the world – change your words.

The Right Word is a gift. If you can’t say something helpful to someone, just skip it and don’t say it. Choosing life-giving words will Build Energy.

I am committing to do a better job of closely selecting my words, and using more life-giving words. Will you join me? I think we can alter our world if we do!


Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29