How to Use Language to Influence Behaviour
Facilitator Tips Episode 08

Top Tip: Language is My Most Potent Tool


This week’s Facilitator Tips episode describes the impact and potency of our language in influencing groups and helping them achieve success in our programs.


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If you are responsible for the well-being of a group of people, language is clearly your most potent tool.

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Video Transcript


Hi there and welcome to Episode 8 of the Facilitator Tips video series.

My name is Mark Collard. I’m an experiential trainer and an author and the founder of www.playmeo.com, and today I want to talk to you about how important your language is, particularly as a very important tool for helping to influence your group.

Now I don’t want to just focus on things like tone and clarity. They’re clearly very important. And that’s something that I know as I have a mastery of the English language that’s definitely helping me communicate what I want to do with my group and how I might influence them towards growth and development.

What I particularly want to help you focus on is your choice of words, the phrases that you use, and in particular are you honouring choice. The way that you say things can make or break someone’s willingness to engage or participate in an activity.

For example, let’s say you’re playing an elimination game. You could say something like if you happen to make an error or are too slow, you’re going to go into the centre of the circle, or you could say hey, if you happen to make a mistake or are too slow, you have a choice. You can come to the centre of the circle and have some fun or someone else may take your spot. Now effectively they’re the same thing, but one lands much more sensitively for your participants and it also honours choice, and that would be that second version.

So it’s more than just tone and clarity. It is also about your choice of words, particularly if you’re wanting to empower your group to help them feel that they’ve got a choice in what they’re doing.

Now if you’re interested I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.

But importantly can I ask you, as my last-minute tip, video yourself. Have a look back at what you’re saying and the phrases that you’re using and really critically ask yourself the question – Am I allowing people a choice here or am I really painting them into a corner?

So leave a comment at Episode 8. I’d love to hear from you. And know that one lucky commenter each episode receives a free subscription to playmeo’s activity database.

And in the meantime, I hope you have a great time.

Thanks for listening. Bye-bye.


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