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Episode Transcript

As you become a respected leader in your engineering field and an expert known for the impact of your work, much of your influence simply comes from your thoughts and words.

You can use that to your career advantage.

Positive thoughts and words have higher frequencies than negative thoughts and words. They leave imprints on your subconscious mind. And those of others. Which in turn affects beliefs and actions.

Now, I would love to go into a deep geeky discussion on the quantum physics behind all this. But we’ll save that for another day. 

Even beyond their role in speaking and getting ideas across, thoughts and words are mighty tools in your day-to-day work and for progressing in your career. 

Your thought patterns, how you speak and what you emphasize are all important parts of your performance and the example you set. 

Words Build Trust, Credibility, and Foundation in Your Engineering Career

Here are 3 ways you can use the power and energy of your thoughts and words to positively impact your engineering career:

  1. Use words to build trust in you as a person and a leader.

There are lots of leadership characteristics that serve to build trust. Stephen Covey’s list of “The 13 Behaviors of a High Trust Leader” includes things like confronting reality, admitting when you’re wrong, keeping commitments, talking straight, etc.

When you show these behaviors through your thoughts and words, your colleagues begin to have trust in you. Your words make an impression. And people see and feel that you’re a leader they can trust. 

You can’t fake these behaviors. Because people see right through that. Your words make an impression on the subconscious. In this case, not a good one. Even if people consciously want to believe you, subconsciously they know better.

You also build trust in how you think and speak about yourself. In Episode 37, we talked about the use of diminishing words and phrases. And how women tend to do this more than men. 

If you’re diminishing yourself through your thoughts and words, that makes an impression on people too. So speaking well of yourself is important. And trust is reciprocal. If you trust others, others trust you. If you think and speak of yourself as trusting and trustworthy, others will too.

If this is something you struggle with, let’s talk. You can book a strategy session with me, and we can discuss ways to help you craft the right messages or get out of the habit of using diminishing language. 

This is something very doable. Something you can work on that makes a big difference in your work and your career. 

  1. Use words to build your credibility as an engineer. 

As you’re learning your engineering role, you’re learning the ability to communicate with others in your field. You’re building your technical rapport and credibility

But you’re also building your thought processes that contribute to teamwork and innovation. To see you as credible, people also need to see that you’re transparent and open to feedback. That you’re a collaborative and honest engineer. 

Beyond the technical learning, this is exhibited through your every-day words, thoughts, and actions.

I can think of 2 particular people I worked with in the lab – 2 people I admired – who were high trust technical leaders. And the one thing that always impressed me was how they spoke and acted behind the scenes. 

When they weren’t leading a meeting or engaged with their teams. But just in side conversations and one-on-one interactions. They were always very gracious and amiable people. Always loyal and true to others and the mission. 

Each of them certainly had an immense amount of credibility.

  1. Use thoughts and words to strengthen the foundation of your engineering career. 

Here I’m referring more to your outlook and attitude. If your thoughts and words are hopeful and constructive, so is your career. And you want that kind of foundation.

Are you focusing on what’s possible? Are you a believer in breaking barriers and moving forward? Do you advocate for the mission and goals of the organization? Are you focused on the success of your project? 

If so, then the thoughts and words of these aspirations are imprinted on your own subconscious, along with feelings of achievement and success. And thus you’re more likely to encounter events that support them

Choosing Your Word Power for Positive Engineering Outcomes

Something you can do to better understand the strong effects of thoughts and words is to think about it in the negative sense. You know what it’s like to be in a group with doubters and doomsayers. People who believe it can’t be done and are always expecting the worst. 

No one wants to work in that environment. The energy is oppressive. It drags the whole team down. And works against the project. 

In the opposite sense, an environment that is hopeful and expects fruitful outcomes is uplifting and more supportive. It’s more likely to bring the project to success.

My favorite one of The Four Agreements, by don Miguel Ruiz is “Be impeccable with your word.”

You can use words or misuse them. You can use their power impeccably or inappropriately. One way is creative and the other is destructive. Both are powerful.

Take care in how you say things. Whether you’re surrounded by people or behind the scenes. 

Mind how you compliment people. Mind your self-talk. Carefully craft your leadership messages. Especially those that are designed for getting through difficult situations, solving tough problems, or facing new challenges. 

Remember what you’re imprinting in your subconscious, and the subconscious of your team.

Next time on Her Engineering Career Podcast our topic is influential relationships and how to cultivate them. I hope you’ll join me for Episode 54.