The growth and success of your business depends on building trusting relationships with other people. Ask yourself this one simple question:

Do my words pull people towards me or push them away?

This question requires a willingness on your part to honestly evaluate how you use your words and to what degree they build trust and respect.

I warn you that what you discover may sting a bit.

That was my case when my 21 year old son told me that my words (suggestions) overwhelmed him! Rather than building our relationship, I was pushing him away with too much unsolicited "expert advice." He said that my words were "paralyzing" him. Ouch.

The irony of the situation did not escape me. As a life coach, I help people conquer overwhelm, not create it for them!

Below are 7 ways that words push people away which in turn hinders your relationships, business success and personal growth.

1. Adding too much value
When you consistently share information (or your 2 cents), you may be trying to meet your need to feel good about yourself by establishing your worth. This behavior may cause others to tune you out and/or avoid you.

2. Overuse of NO, BUT, HOWEVER
These qualifiers negate or detract from the value of the first half of your sentence and/or send the message that you're more right than them.
Here's a few examples: I would like to partner with you, BUT you have to buy my product first. (That was actually said to me which led me to believe that they really did NOT want to partner with me) or I like the way you wrote that marketing copy; HOWEVER let's do it this way instead. (Meaning: You're way is not as good as mine)

3. Speaking when angry
Anger is a valid response in some situations AND be aware that it easily hijacks your ability to reason well. Anger can also be used as a way to manipulate, intimidate or overpower people to doing things your way. Anger that's overused and abused does not build trusting and safe relationships.

4. Failing to express gratitude.
Take the time to share your gratitude for: someone doing business with you; sending you a referral; saying kind things about you to others; providing a testimonial for you; etc. Failing to do these things takes other people for granted, a form of bad manners.

5. Negativity.
Consistently sharing your negative thoughts about others, events, circumstances or anything else will kill a relationship before the seed of trust and respect has even been planted. Too much negativity which includes sarcasm and cynicism drains the life out of people. Plus, people can't help wonder what you say about them.

6. Passing Judgment
The act of habitually judging all things and people as "good" or "bad" can easily sabotage your relationships and business. It's a short-term and narrow-sighted perspective that prevents you from seeing the positive potential in people and situations. Even though this is a really hard habit to break, it will change by 1) refraining from instant judgment as "good" or "bad" and 2) asking this question: "What can I learn or how can I grow given this situation and/or person?"

7. An excessive need to be "me."
Have you ever known someone who brutally speaks their mind and justifies it by saying, "I'm just being honest; that's just the way I am?" Or perhaps you've met someone who dominates most conversations and justifies it with "I'm such a people person that I can't help myself." Be wary of exalting your faults as virtues because you have decided not to change your habits.

It is easy to see these word-related behaviors in others before you see them in yourself. If any of these triggered an "A-HA" or an 'OH-NO" moment for you, please be comforted in knowing that you can change any and all of these behaviors and it's not too late!

Start using your words powerfully by choosing one or two behaviors from above. Then, develop a plan of action that will make your new behavior a habit. As you execute the changes, you will find your business grow and prosper as your words build trusting and respectful relationships with people.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Brown, certified life and career coach, is a 16 year breast cancer thriver and founder of Impact Coaching. She changes the way people perceive and do their work so that it becomes fulfilling, energizing and impactful. Susan offers a coaching methodology that integrates her six-step THRIVE coaching formula designed to get immediate and long-lasting results. For more information, go to