It’s a very well known saying; actions speak louder than words. But I think it’s one we take for granted.
In fact it is very true and very useful to really appreciate this saying.
I have found that in life words often go unheeded – people just don’t take any notice of them – maybe because some of these reasons why actions speak louder than words:
- Miscommunication is easy with words
- Different people interpret the meaning of words in different ways
- Sometimes people simply don’t believe what they are being told
- It’s easy to misread what is being said between the lines or through the tone used when speaking
- Words are harder for the brain to store and harder to remember – after all, individual words don’t really mean anything, so an entire conversation needs to be stored, and recalled, for it to have a lasting effect
- Often people assume there are ulterior motives behind what someone says
- People simply don’t like being told, or directed, what to do
Actions on the other hand have a lot more power – they are final, obvious, thought provoking and often really do speak volumes.
If someone carries out an action there is no misunderstanding what’s going to happen – because it already has happened.
Some key reasons why actions can be more effective than words are as follows:
- Actions are easy to understand
- Actions speak volumes in the same way that a picture tells a thousand words
- Actions make it clear what has happened
- There is no if or when with an action
- Actions can be far more easily stored in the brain – for example, someone telling you that you’ll get run over by a car if you don’t look when you cross the road has less of a memorable impact than actually getting run over by a car
- Actions make it feel less like you are being told what to do because an action is something that’s already happened, that we have to deal with, whereas words are a directive that can choose whether or not to follow
- People often assume actions have just happened naturally, rather than reading into a motive behind them
Next time that you want to get something done, or you are trying to convince someone to do something or to listen to you, think about actions you can take in order to accomplish this, compared with using only words.