What words do you use when you talk about the future?

Updated: May 20, 2020

2 weeks ago we had a great discussion during an #ODNE virtual meeting about what happens when we come out of lock-down. What struck me from the conversation are the words we noticed people use to describe what they will do to re-start their lives and how these words can potentially be unhelpful. We make meaning of and construct the world with the language we use, so using the right language will help to empower yourself or your team. What words do you use when you talk about your future? After lock-down? What will you be doing with your family? With your colleagues and team?


Words that imply that something was broken or not working before are not helpful and will not serve you well. We recognise that there are projects or teams that are taken apart / have been let go / need a new start. However, if you are generally referring to your life / work after lock-down, I suggest to avoid these.


Avoid words like:

  • rebuild (implies it has been destroyed)

  • reconstruct (implies it was not built or fallen apart)

  • restart (implies it has stopped)

  • reinvent (implies it was not good enough or not invented before)

  • reboot (implies it has stopped and it was a machine)

  • redesign (implies it was not good, not functioning before)

So, instead, use words that encourage you and your team to look at things in a different, more positive way and provide options for exploration using this frame.


These words will help you look at things as opportunities:

  • recognise (opportunities, strengths and resilience)

  • reconsider (options, projects, decisions)

  • reframe (your challenges, problems, issues)

  • reimagine (your life, your work, your ways of working)

  • reconnect (with your colleagues, your family, your purpose)

  • rekindle (relationships, passion, desire)

What other words do you have the are helpful / not helpful? Let us know!



#future #lockdown #language #NLP #coachingquestionoftheweek #gekkoconsulting #gogekko



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