"Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say Without Being Mean When You Say It" ~ Meryl Runion Rose                                ShoppingCart Plum NB 50

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Effective Communication Skill Blog

We promised my friend Susan that we would sing her a happy birthday song, but not the traditional one. I chose Mr. Rogers' birthday song; however, I was struck by its passive tone and felt a need to revise it. Here are the words:

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Dear Friend. We sing to you. 
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you.

We thought we’d try to tell you how we love you on your birthday.
We thought we’d try to sing and dance and play today.

We wanted to surprise you on your birthday and say,
We love you every day. Not just today. 

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Dear Friend. We sing to you. 
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you.

How many limiting words do you detect in the lyrics? What are they?

"We thought" and "try" and "we wanted" stand out to me. We didn't just think it, we did it. We didn't try to tell her we loved her, we told her. And we did more than try to dance, sing and play. 

It's a lovely and sweet song. We just needed to remove the "respect-robbing poison phrases."

Susan loved it.

After you've digested that one, check out the "Happy Birthday Song" by Casey Jones. It was my favorite as a child, but even then I was uncomfortable with part of the message and wanted to change some words. See if they hit you as a bit off. 

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©2015 Meryl Runion Rose. Meryl is a Certified Speaking Professional and the Creator of the SpeakStrong Method of Dynamically Effective Communication. Find her at www.SpeakStrong.com

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