What's In A Word?

Posted by Julie Roehm on April 8th, 2013 at 8:00 am

This week, a long time friend of mine died suddenly and unexpectedly. I had the pleasure of working with him at three different companies and have always considered him one of the kindest and selfless people around. I am sure he knew how I felt about him and how much I valued his friendship but did I ever tell him? Or did I tell him in ways that maybe didn't directly state how much I appreciated his friendship but let him know anyway?

Just today, another friend of mine sent me this video entitled, "The Power of Words". Watch it before you continue reading.

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I was struck by how people are impacted by the way we say things. This man's sign, both before and after, were basically asking for the same thing - help. But when stated in a way that made the reader understand the need from their own perspective, the outpouring truly began.

To be thought of, when it is not convenient or even necessary, is sometimes the greatest gift of all. This is a good tip for marketers looking to have a 1:1 relationship with their customer but even better advice for friends.

Most of us have lots of "friends", especially in this Facebook era. But how many are really friends? When was the last time you sent your friends just a note of "hi" or even a link to a video like this to remind them that you are thinking of them - for no reason in particular.

I know this is not a traditional marketing blog but I hope that it serves as a reminder that words do matter and they can make all the difference in the lives of those around you..and in the workplace too.

9 Responses to “What's In A Word?”

  1. Prashant Laxmeshwar says:

    Completely agree, Julie. The words we use define ourselves and the world around us.

  2. Simon Morris says:

    Great post Julie and very sorry to hear about your loss.

  3. Sheryl Paparella says:


    A friend of mine and I had this very discussion - your words do mean something, make them count!

    Thanks for publishing this beautiful video - I have seen in many times, but it never looses its impact!

  4. Tom Krehbiel says:


    I've always enjoyed that video.

    I wonder if it is Jim Gismondi who you are referring? I heard about his passing last week. I always knew there was more to Jim than just his professionalism and business acumen. He obviously made an impact on many others and in many humane ways.



  5. John Cayne says:

    Julie, your timing is impeccable and your POV will echo in my mind for a long time. I have lost two friends in 12 months - one had brain cancer and a difficult final year and the other (ironically a very close friend of the guy having brain cancer) unexpectedly at 48 yrs old. I know that both knew they were important to me, but I doubt I effectively communicated it. That all changes... today. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Julie...this is the exact lesson I brought back with me from my experience living in Ireland. Nobody expresses themselves as eloquently as the Irish. Great video...Susie and I are very sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend's family. Good to hear from you again.

  7. Joel Schlader says:

    Very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was a very caring person.

  8. Dave Shinnebarger says:

    Julie - so sorry to hear about your loss. I saw this video about a month ago and it moved me. I hope you are healthy and happy!

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