Do You Speak Breakthrough?

Welcome to Mike Lipkin’s Masterclass on The New Language of Change

Did you know that almost 3000 new words or definitions were added to the English language in 2020? Considering that the average person only has an operational vocabulary of twenty thousand words, this is a huge increase. The Oxford Dictionary called it a seismic shift in an unprecedented year. A whole new lexicon is being activated by the coronavirus, the social justice movement, and massive technological innovation. It’s the new language of change and it’s evolving at hyper speed. Can you speak it?

Here are just some of the words or phrases that have shot to prominence and are redefining our world:

Allyship: active support for the rights of a minority or marginalized group without being a member of it.

Blended learning: a style of education in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.

Blursday: a day of the week that is indistinguishable from any other.

Cancel Culture: a culture in which there is a widespread practice of publicly rejecting or withdrawing support from people or things regarded as promoting socially unacceptable views.

Code-Switching: adjusting one’s style of speech, appearance, behavior, and expression in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service, and employment opportunities.

Covidiot: a person who disobeys guidelines designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Doomscrolling: the action of compulsively scrolling through social media or news feeds which relate bad news.

Infodemic: a proliferation of diverse, often unsubstantiated information relating to a crisis, controversy, or event. 

Moonshot: an extremely ambitious and innovative project.

Net Zero: a target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity.

R Number: reproduction number, the average number of cases of an infectious disease arising by transmission from a single infected individual.

Take a Knee: to go down on one knee as a peaceful means of protesting against racism.

Techcelleration: the acceleration of innovation enabled by technology.

The words we use shape the lives we lead. They are the filters through which we interpret the meaning of every experience. They are also our bridge to others. Words build bridges or burn them. They can transport us to bliss or banish us to hell. Now more than ever, words don’t just describe situations. They create them. Whatever we say is being recorded in some way. Our impressions are indelible. First, we form our speech. Then, our speech forms us. As the world changes, our language needs to change. 

Covid has made us hyper vigilant. Isolation has inflamed our stressors. Fraying happens earlier. The floor of anxiety is way higher than it used to be. The downsides bother us more because there are less upsides to restore our equilibrium. We’re seeing red and feeling blue. Our listening is being flavoured by fear. No matter who we are, we’ve slid down Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to the levels of survival, shelter, safety and belonging. 

In the absence of physical presence, we are becoming obsessed with the spoken word. According to Forbes Magazine, 75 percent of Americans are now familiar with the term “podcasting” and more than 50 percent have listened to a podcast themselves. Audiobook sales have also been increasing strongly over the past 8 years. They now outsell e-books. Smart speakers and digital assistants make it effortless for us to find the voices that we most want to hear. Talk isn’t cheap. It’s transformational. 

So let me ask you: what do your words say about you? Would you follow you? Would you be inspired by you? Would you be reassured by you? Would you want to invest more time with you? Would you choose you over your myriad competitors? Why? Watch yourself while you present to others. Record your next Zoom call. And play it back to yourself. Evaluate your impact through the results you’re achieving and others’ desire to invest more time in you. In addition to your self-evaluation, get feedback from confidantes, mentors or coaches. 

Looking forward, there are three things we know for certain: the speed of change will only accelerate from here. The need for innovation will only increase. And the scale of reward will multiply massively for those that create breakthroughs through change and innovation.

The moment you begin talking with others, it becomes apparent whether you’re speaking breakthrough, status quo or even worse, regression. It’s broadcast by the words you use and the way you use them. So let’s talk Breakthrough. A breakthrough is a solution to a pressing problem; it’s a sudden insight that enables someone to achieve remarkable results; it’s a personal victory over doubt that liberates someone from their fear; it’s a decisive discovery that causes extraordinary success. In short, a breakthrough is whatever people need most in that moment. Just give it to them.

 Here are Lipkin’s Top Ten Guidelines To Speaking Breakthrough:

  1. Master Your Conversational Domain. Read, watch, listen, talk to the champions of your craft. Discover for yourself. Learn with intent to teach. Be willing to be shocked and surprised. Assume a Beginner’s mind.  Then become the one who REALLY knows. Make the investment if you want the dividend. What would that take for you?
  2. Consciously Create Your Signature Style and phrases. Every great communicator has an original way of communicating that differentiates them from the pack. They say it like they invented it. They own their impact. They sound unique and fresh. They carefully choose their words and turn them into their personal mantras. That’s how they make every conversation memorable. What would that take for you?
  3. Get In The Game. Dive in, don’t stand back. Embrace the chaos and the craziness. Be a competitor, not a spectator. Relish the bruises and setbacks. Practice with the purpose of acquiring proficiency. That’s how you become smarter, faster, stronger. What would that take for you?
  4. Make Peace With Your Inner Coward. The dirty little secret is that everyone has a coward within them. Don’t kowtow to it. Play scared. Confront your doubts. Be relaxed being nervous. Your fear will keep you humble. Your courage will make you a hero. What would that take for you?
  5. Celebrate The Struggle. Hard work is hard. Your struggle will build your muscle. It signals that you’re pushing your boundaries. Until you struggle with anything, you don’t know how much potential you’re leaving unexplored.  Anything that comes too easily doesn’t stretch your capacity. The struggle is the pain that precedes the breakthrough. It requires urgency and patience in equal measure. What would that take for you?
  6. Express Your Joy. Communication is about the transfer of feelings just as much as the transfer of facts. In every conversation, consciously demonstrate your delight to be in the presence of others. Be unconditionally enthusiastic because the time to be at your best is in the crunch moments. Remember why you signed up. When people observe you, they must think that you obviously love what you do. What would that take for you?
  7. Listen With Extreme Empathy. The way we listen to others becomes their opinion of themselves. It’s called the “reflected self.” It’s how we see ourselves reflected in the responses of others. If others dismiss us, we feel dismiss-able. If others love us, we feel love-able. If others adore us, we feel adore-able. When we listen for the mindset, moods and meaning, we hear so much more than if we just listen to the words themselves. Go beyond the obvious to where the real magic is. What would that take for you?
  8. Take Control. There are threshold moments when an effect begins to be produced. It’s when effort turns into reward or evaporates into missed oportunities. That’s when you need to take control. Forward the action. Assume the responsibility for making it happen. Say what needs to said. Do what needs to be done. Swing for the fences. Dare with audacity. What would that take for you?
  9. Be The Potentiator. To potentiate means to increase the power or effectiveness of someone else. It literally means turning potential into reality. When you become The Potentiator you transform others into the best versions of themselves. You enable them to achieve outcomes they would not have been able to achieve without your personal alchemy. You make meetings with you gateways to their next level. What would that take for you?
  10. Go For The WOW. WOW means With Open Wonder. It’s when you’re knocked back by the excitement or pleasure of a sensational success. It’s the experience that reminds you to believe in magic and miracles. It’s an encouragement to excellence and an antidote to anxiety. It’s what makes it all the frustrations, misfires and disappointments worth it. What would that take for you?

And that’s how you speak Breakthrough. I hope I’ve inspired you to create your own language of change. Remember: nothing happens until someone speaks. Just say the words. And it will all happen from there. This is Mike Lipkin and I approve this message.

One thought on “Do You Speak Breakthrough?


    This is a wondrous and inspirational presentation! Thank you, Mike, for including the 10 specific actions to create ongoing breakthroughs!


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