WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

July 30, 2012

WordFood Affects Us Physically

The other night at my gym I was a little tired, and struggling with the chest press. It was set at a challenging weight, and I could hardly do one rep. I stood up to take a break and walked over to the free weights where a young Hispanic couple was working out. The man was coaching the woman who was clearly a novice, and she didn’t appear to be feeling very confident.

I asked him if she spoke English, and she did not, so I requested that he translate my words to her.
I told her that it took great courage to come to the gym. I explained that I had once weighed 205 lbs and that it took time, and work, to get in shape. She smiled at me. I put my hand on my heart and pointed at her and said in my lousy Spanish, “you are very strong.” At this she grinned, picked up some hand weights and went at it.

Energized, I walked back over to the bench and punched out ten reps on that bar, where not two minutes previously I couldn’t do one and a half.

There is no question in my mind that the exchange between us, those warm words, energized me completely. Her big smile put me on the moon and were a gift of pure positive force.

We underestimate the impact our positive words have on others, just as we all too often underestimate the damage our negative words can do. We carry great force in our words. When we use them to uplift someone else, they move through us and grace us as well.

Try this for yourself. See if paying someone a sincere compliment doesn’t lighten your step, put joy in your day. Feel how encouragement lifts you as much as it does the other person.

This is why I call it WordFood- nourishment for the soul.

June 11, 2012

The Tongue We Trip Over

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 3:21 pm

I just had a day when I had to do some apologizing. I sent an email that wasn’t as carefully thought out as it should have been and it landed badly. I had to do offer some serious courteous WordFood to clean up with my client. Then I was on a conference call and said some things that were out of turn and had to send another apologetic email.

Ever have a day like that?

No matter how well intentioned you start out, somehow your tongue or your typing gets all tangled, your mind gets mangled, and what comes out just isn’t what you intended. Not long afterwards you find yourself working backwards trying to mop up the mess.

It happens to all of us. As a wordsmith, I want to think I’m not subject to this kind of entanglement but I fall victim to it like everyone else. Life has a way of showing us who we are in all our glory- clumsy and awkward, and prone to failures. This isn’t fun to look at. But as my coach Lari puts it, it’s important to see how I’m capable of “foot in mouth” disease and be sensitive to how that impacts people. I need to see that this part exists in me, that if I’m not careful, inappropriate stuff slips out.

People realize that we’re not perfect. An honest apology will usually be accepted especially if it’s offered right away. And when we feel genuine remorse for any hurt or inconvenience we’ve caused, we need to express it. That’s a true and important emotion. These failures and missteps are the everyday fodder of feedback about who we are in life.

The best answer to a clodhopper day is to brush off the dust and keep on going. Sweat it off at the gym, take a walk around the block. The great thing is that most people are quick to forgive. We need to forgive ourselves for our periodic verbal clumsiness. When our WordFood doesn’t feed others the way we think it should, that’s not the time to go toxic on ourselves. We are all doing our best with what we’ve got. And that’s saying a lot.

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