The saying goes The pen is mightier than the sword. Therefore it is those words that we choose to write with that pen, that can have a significant impact on those that read or hear them. Words are certainly sharper than swords.
Choosing your words is essential to empowering people and by doing so, you can help to improve their wellbeing. I'm sure we can all recount numerous occasions where friends, family members or even strangers have said something which in their head has been completely innocent in intention, but for you, it struck a negative cord and cut deep. These negative cords can soon turn into an symphony, where you can only see yourself in a negative light.
Within care, and if a customer is already on a low ebb, having a carer say "challenging behaviour... suffering from..." can have the danger of taking away the humanity. They are no longer, Trevor... Lizzy or Alan. They are now just a sick person needing care and in turn this might prompt the customer to self actualise. If I have such challenging behaviour, then the next time I see my carer I will act up - whether that is a conscious or unconscious decision to do so.
The power is in your hands to say what you want and need to say... but maybe in a more positive way. Have a look at the phrases below and ask yourself the next time you are on shift, do you empower or disempower with the language you use?