How a 'Power Lead' Will Change Your Life
by Robin Sacks
by Robin Sacks
When I worked in the television news industry, before I came to my senses and ran screaming from it by choice, I had a separate vocabulary.
Like any industry, there are terms or phrases that people within the industry use. In news, some were obnoxious like "if it bleeds, it leads," while others were more tame, such as talking to other reporters about what "beat" you are working.
The only term I chose to take with me when I left the news industry to further pursue speaking and coaching full-time was "power lead."
"Power lead" is now a phrase I use almost every day with both my clients and myself.
A "Power lead" is what makes someone want to keep listening to you.
With something like news or a presentation, the words you choose (sometimes not consciously) instantly make your audience want to keep listening or not.
How you BEGIN is the difference maker.
In news, you always START with the thing you believe will keep viewers' attention - sometimes you hold on to that thing for a while (a "tease") to make them stay with you - even while listening to/watching a bunch of stuff they couldn't care less about or are not interested in.
Think about how many times you have sat through a program just waiting for something that was "teased" at the beginning of that show.
A "power lead" has one job...to keep you with them until you get what you want.
If you take this strategy and apply it to yourself, you can begin to change your self-talk in such a way that you want to keep listening to YOU until you get what you want.
This is a form of self-motivation.
When negative self-talk takes over, we obsess over thoughts that make us feel miserable. We don't like listening to them, but it sometimes feels like we can't stop them from talking.
If you find it challenging to stop your thoughts from talking, why not change the thoughts? You are the author of every one of those thoughts. You create all of them. You choose which ones you listen to and which ones you 'poo-poo.'
After all, they are just words that you choose to say and to hear.
Those words matter, and they always begin with a 'lead.' The trigger that opens the flood gates is powerful when used strategically. You can choose to create a positive or supportive trigger before a negative one even has a chance to start.
What are you starting with? THAT will determine whether you spiral down or spiral up.
If it's complaining, whining, bitching and moaning, you will spiral down. If it's a positive or supportive message, you will spiral up.
Start with something as simple as replacing the word "should" with the word "could" or the word "can't" with the word "can."
If I tell myself "I should do that," I have just created a downward spiral of thoughts about how I never do that, but I am supposed to, but I never follow-thru because I'm lazy and that's why everyone is better at that than me, I guess this is just how I am, I wish I was one of those people who...." That one trigger creates a negative avalanche of perceived (not real) worthlessness.
If I choose to start with "I could do that," it instantly puts me in control. That one word changes it from "I am out of control," to "the decision is mine to make."
How you choose to START can quickly put you in control or put you in a downward spiral.
As soon as you catch yourself saying or thinking words that do not serve you, STOP! Sit back, take a breath, and choose different words. Start again.
Simply choosing your words more wisely will make you feel more confident and less stressed.