Episode 2: Benefits of Positive Language in Business

Featuring Will Cairley

In this episode, Oxford Innovation business coach Will Cairley explains the many benefits to both people and businesses of using of positive language.

Will Cairley Oxford Innovation Cornwall Cornwall

“Hi everyone, I’m Will Cairley: coach and mentor at Oxford innovation Cornwall. Today I’d like to discuss the power in the type of language we use, the way the left and right brain function at a very high level, and how the simple insights guide our performance and make us much more successful in life and in business.

It’s about why we need to relax to enable us to get into the right brain, or creative and long-term memory side where we store all of our learned experiences, both not so good and great. I wonder how many of us know what syntax that’s in our right brain and how this is affecting our language, the way we use it in business and in relationships.

In addition, I want to highlight the dramatic reduction in compassionate or virtue-based words and publications over the last century.”

A Short Trip Into The Research

“Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves how many times in the recent past that we’ve actually enjoyed watching or listening to the news headlines. Basking in the positivity of politicians, their in-fighting or news stories of how many dead, wounded, injured refugees, catastrophes, etc.

How can we think that surrounding ourselves with this language can possibly be good for us or be beneficial in any way at all? I’m not saying ignore it. However, what I am saying is, is that what you want to fill your heads with all the time? Life, both social and business is about learning how to direct ourselves back to what we want.

The world around us works on 80/20 for most people, the world of the Italian scientist Perito still very valid today. The basic concept of this is that 80% of the population expect only a 20% return on life, love, business, etc. while the other 20% look forward to a bounty of 80%. I know which way I’d rather think. How we express what we want to do is crucial to our success. How confident we are in total communications delivered by the words we use, our tone of voice and our body language affects our sales by influencing buyers of our products and services.

We must look at the world and our lives in it in a much more positive and healthy fashion. the right words and expressions make a huge difference to who we are and what we believe ourselves to be. Therefore, fundamentally, we can agree that by being motivated towards success and being positive as a good foundation to base our life and work on. By establishing such good habits, we can move to the next steps. This type of language pays huge dividends in sales and business in general.”

Setting goals and sticking to them

“Let’s talk about goals. We, the population of our world, business leaders included perform much better in so many ways if we have goals in our life, and choose to work towards those goals, to beat targets we set and grow our businesses. Goals and targets focus our minds on successful outcomes and keep us on track to reach what and where we want to be or do in our lives, winning new businesses driven by the goals in our lives.

Life is too long to allow ourselves to feel submerged in negativity and lack all the time. For sure stuff happens to us sometimes, however, getting back on track as fast as possible must be better for us than to wallow in self-pity. When we have goals and targets in our lives, we can reset and get back to achieving what we want. Which brings me to the language we use.”

Choosing your words wisely

“In business, as well as life in general. I hear the supposedly positive phrases such as “we don’t want to lose”, “don’t forget”, “no problem”, “Don’t touch,” “don’t worries” or “no worries”, “don’t be sad”, etc. In all of these examples, the right brain deletes the syntax “don’t” etc. And we simply hear the negatives “problem”, “forget”, “worry”, “lose”, etc. Why do we knowingly plant negativity in our heads or in our businesses? words, we need to be careful and how we use them. They can be toxic or brilliant, you choose.

Use words like “remember”, “when”, “solutions”, “enjoy”, “happy”, “succeed”, etc. all better than the syntax above. To add to this, there’s been a deep dive recently by some top US-based specialists in the use of language over the past century in print. The note very conclusively that words both positive and or caring have dropped In their usage, in some cases dramatically by much more than 50%. They include words such as love, dignity, character, conscience, decency, thoughtfulness, honesty, wisdom, courtesy, and respect to name a few.

All of them: virtue or compassion-based words. We appear to be ignoring some of the most beneficial words in our world, using less and less of them over time. Knowing this, it’s clear that we need to work harder learning and using the right language to have better lives and more successful businesses. Who said this was going to be easy? Those of us who are optimistic or who focus on success, growth, wealth, strength, health, happiness, peace, joy and mutual gain, etc. are in the significant minority.

That’s okay by me. I’m happy to be part of an exclusive knowledgeable group of winners. That’s the good news. Positive people are in general more successful, resilient, powerful than the other 80% who go about their business with a negative or cannot do mentality.

The wealth, health and happiness employed by positive individuals or businesses with motivated happy and high performing teams, earn more than the other 80% of negative people combined. I frequently engage with strong individuals in a power versus language fun experiment to find that even internal only repetition of negative words removes the power and strength physically from their bodies.

While those who use power of virtue-based words of love, success, power, happiness, strong etc. are immensely more resilient. And we need all the energy we can muster to run successful teams or businesses in today and tomorrow’s world. For most of us in SME businesses it’s worth learning a little, or better, a lot more from the world of Kinesiology and NLP, where the fundamentals clearly show the impact of the positive programming of language on our neurology (our body and mind).

Those who repeat the same old demotivating story simply program the mind and body in a negative way. They believe this is the norm. Well, successful ones apply the correct motivational language and actions.

Jack Black, a hugely successful people and business coach, someone I’ve learned heaps from talks and writes about the impact of positivity. He describes building goals in a positive personal and present tense manner that we repeat often to focus our minds, our right brains, to believe that success is actually happening. This mental rehearsal reinforces our internal belief system.

I found this works all the time if and only if we’re willing to work at it and be persistent. There’s a belief in the mind game community that it takes about three weeks of repetitive work daily, to build a new, much more successful habit. This seems like a short time to invest to become both stronger and more resilient in our lifestyles, hobbies, relationships, or businesses. However, the amount of people I hear in life or sports who say, I tried that once and it didn’t work.

We need to persevere here.

Paul McKenna, a hugely successful business person, has made fortunes working in this way with people who feel challenged in their lifestyles, by guiding them to focus on what they want. As has Michael Neal, the author of the book, super coach, a developer of the objection matrix, which he trademarked: a great tool to allow us to focus on what works and to remove obstacles that are in the way of our success.

There are so many super mentors out there in the world of business, or personal goals that always surprise me there are still huge numbers of people who believe their own and social media’s negative stories. There is always a choice to think about and plan success, and to delete and avoid negativity surrounding us. This is a major challenge right now, given the poor behavior of most politicians in our world at the moment in this moment in time, perhaps we should focus on them first.”

``We have a choice. Always.``

“Some years ago, I captured a bunch of positive motivating words on a Word document and often call this up as my screensaver to push me to read and repeat them to myself. Two things I’ve noticed here: Firstly, there are not many of them. A couple of pages in large font covers it. However, when I do review them, I focus on some that are relevant to my day ahead… life becomes just a bit more smooth and pleasant too.

We have a choice. Always. Taking time to relax in our busy lives with meditation or mindfulness downloads, or simply to take time out to think of nothing and recover your energy. Test a few, you may find you enjoy that “me” time. So, to summarize all of that stuff, sure, the other negative stuff, junk is still there, because of the way that we use our neural pathways to remember things. However, we always have a choice to think the way that we want and I personally choose fun and success.

If you find yourself sinking into the mire of challenges, tell yourself to stop and think of the great experiences or fun things in your life or work. Like most great stuff in our mind, in our world, this needs practice repeatedly. neural pathways are like normal pathways, the more you walk them, the more they become clearer. Reinforce and open up the good pathways. This is what successful business leaders do.

A little warning here: thinking positively and using motivational language can seriously improve your health, wealth and happiness. As the mantra goes, you get more of what you focus on. We all have a choice and I know which one is for me, do you? I surround myself with like-minded people in all the areas of my life, business, sports, fun, travel, family, learning, etc. Remember: positive thinking works, although we must work at it to make it part of our daily lives. It’s a great habit to have.

Make the extra effort, focus on what you want, wallow in success and use the tips hints and habits of happy, successful people. I’ve added some kickstart material references for you to enjoy in the appendix. Notice the small changes in your life. Enjoy and mark them. Learn from the best and most of all have fun doing it.

Thanks and good luck, Will.”


If you’d like any more pointers on reading material and areas to study to get more proficient and join the world of the positive successful businesses, here are a few to kickstart you on the road.

Mindstore by Jack Black. Jack has a series of workshops, books and programs available. All of them able to book or learn more on online.

The world of NLP: Neuro Linguistic Programming. Richard bandler one of the founders of NLP has licensed this thinking to many people. From the NLP workbook my favorite reference manual to the brilliant summary of the Brooklyn program Transforming Futures by Richard M. Gray. Available online, all up there to help you learn how people who focus on what they want out of life, and who work hard at what they want, succeed.

Paul McKenna has got online resources and downloads for lots of areas of life. Michael Neal, who’s also a great promoter of NLP and all its forms has published works available in many forms and as training courses and forums around the world.

Dan pink, one of my favorite TED Talks, and 10 minutes of the RSA version of this talk on motivation is absolutely excellent. There are books on kinesiology, the correlation between mind and body. They’re great tools to help explain very simply how the mind effects the body and your energy. Do the visual, auditory and kinesthetic questionnaire on business balls the AK questionnaire on businessballs.com to know your own preferred communication style and know that others may have a different preference. My personal library is full of great resources and allows me to keep focused on the future in a positive and motivated way. I read often, and various different types of thinking.

Interested in working with Oxford Innovation Cornwall? Get in touch to see how we can help your business grow.


Book Online