Conscious Communicator Power Word #3 – CAN (100 words or less)

Your third Power Word is one of hope and possibility…CAN

If you know one of those people whose initial reaction to an idea or a request is negative, you know how frustrating it is.

Champion communicators always look first for the possibility and use CAN, when an idea is presented or a request is made of them, as in “yes, I/we can!”

The word helped U.S. President Barack Obama get elected in 2008 with the “Yes, We Can” campaign message. CAN projects confidence and certainty, and will make you a leader others will want to follow.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below or e-mail me directly at!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results







P.S. – For a list of all Power Words in the Conscious Communicator Series click here!

7 thoughts on “Conscious Communicator Power Word #3 – CAN (100 words or less)

  1. Steven Abee says:

    I like, “Yes, We Will!” This implies commitment to the endeavor. For me, can implies probable or possible. We can do anything, but will we? For me, can, lacks a sincere commitment to truly do it. It gives the speaker/author an out, if they later decide not to do what they said they ‘can’ do.

  2. Jennifer Adams says:

    While I think “will” has its place – I really appreciate the committment, I think “can” needs to come first. Thoughts are powerful and the words that form them matter – which I believe is why Skip is utilizing these words. “Can” is a great place to start. If you don’t believe that you “can” then “will” is not going to come into play at all. “I can” is a great affirmation to yourself and gets you started and open to the possibilities that follow.

  3. Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert says:

    Jennifer and Steve,
    You are both right, and the answer depends on the context. For this context I was looking at “can” as having an open mind when being presented with new ideas. It can also be in the context of competency and capability.

    “Will” speaks to the willingness and commitment to move forward.

    The purpose of this context is simply to encourage openness to new ideas, initiatives and recommendations, etc. to at least explore the possibilities of moving forward. Can doesn’t necessary mean it is going to happen, that is correct, but it does provide the impetus for next steps. Without saying “we can” do this, there is not need to even look at the willingness (and, avoiding the “can” or rejecting the idea may be speaking directly to the willingness by default).

    Thank you for keeping the discussion going and the learning.

  4. Kavitha Reddy says:

    With my experience “Yes I Can” was given lot of positive feedback from our customers. I remember Once it went up to CIO’s notice which received appreciation. Initially when our customers asks something to change in the system software, if we say “we will” and not deliver the stuff it lets their confidence down, “Yes I Can” is good in that context.

  5. Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert says:

    Thank you for being inspired to leave a comment, and sharing your experience. Either,” Yes, I can,” or “yes, we will” can both be powerful statements. Key, is the follow through and we need them both. Which you’ll read about it a future “power word” coming up.

    The power of these power words, is that when you speak them, they should make you feel more or a responsibility to follow through on your commitment.

    Even, “yes, I can” can be meet with skepticism and a response such as, “that’s great, but will you?”

    The even more powerful way to reply, is “Yes, I can and I’ll put the request in before the end of today. When I do I will email you to confirm I’ve followed through on my commitment to you.”

    Then do it!

    Please come back and continue the conversation anytime you feel inspired to do so.

  6. Srinivas Dittakavi says:

    Thanks for your wonderful word series. I am trying to implement these words in my usage and I’m feeling more confident and affirmative.

    Keep sharing your thoughts. Thank you very much.

  7. Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert says:

    I’m pleased you’re finding value in the Power Word Series.
    Thank you for stopping by and being inspired to leave a comments.

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