Words that Disempower

Steve shares a key exerpt out of his upcoming revelation packed book called, The Culture of Empowerment. It is from the chapter called, "Empowering Language." 

Language that Disempowers

  • Accusatory words – Dominated by the word “YOU.” “You always . . .” or “You never . . . “

  • Labeling words – Past-based identity statements spoken over people. “She is a very disorganized person.”

  • Limiting words – “You could never do that” or “That is impossible” or “You are non-administrative.”

  • Prejudice words – “Young people today are lazy!”

  • Victim words – “Because of what has happened to you in the past, you need the government to take care of you. There is no other answer.” We may not say those exact words, but we might as well have.

  • Guilt language – ”If you were a good Christian or person, you would . . . “

  • Bitterness language – “You have hurt me so much. You are a horrible person.”

  • Abusive authority language – “God will be angry with you if you don’t do what I say.”

  • Negative identity words – “You are stupid” or “You don’t care” or “You are selfish.”

  • Law words – “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). “The letter” is when preachers and teachers tell people what they are supposed to do much than telling them what Christ has done and who they are in Him.

  • Words spoken from frustration – “God’s presence will not manifest because of the people in the back who are talking. Stop talking and start loving God!!!!”

  • Manipulation words – “Mom, I hate you” or “If you really loved me, you would . . . “ or “If you give to our ministry in the next 30 minutes, God will bless you radically.”

  • Controlling words – “You don’t want to see me mad, so you better do this” or “If you leave our church, you will be out of the will of God.”

  • "You are too stupid to even understand what you need" words (often spoken by elites in church, government, and education) – “You are not capable of really understanding what is best.”

The non-empowering leader will tend to use language to control others through fear of punishment, shame, and guilt.

Stay tuned for my next blog on Monday, about language that empowers