The Magic Words

Posted on October 27th, 2022 by The DSWA

“It is not the answer that enlightens but the question”. ~ Eugene Jensen

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, is a spell for the movie Cinderella that turns just about any animate or inanimate object into just about any other animate or inanimate object. The spell only last until the end of the day.

What if there were magic words that could get you to adjust the way you were thinking or help you to get unstuck? Would you want to learn them?

I did! When I first got into this industry, I would be in awe of those who have a knack for selling the product and recruiting teammates. It was as if they had these magic words that could put a spell on people. It had me baffled. I would watch my mentor speak to teammates to get them unstuck, guide them on a new path, or completely change their way of thinking. I would say to myself, what is this magic? What are they saying to put them under a spell and make these Aha moments? At this point, I was dumbfounded.

What are these magic words, and how do I use them?

What these people were using is called Heart-Centered Listening. A form of listening to hear what is being said and felt by the speaker. A skill that took time for me to grasp. As a former teacher, I was always in solution mode. How can I help solve this for them? I quickly learned and realized they don’t need me to solve it for them. They need me to listen with my heart open and guide them in seeking the best solution for them. I learned they can discover this on their own by using the “magic words.”

The magic words are not the ones you hear in Harry Potter or Cinderella. They are the simple question words you learned in elementary school who, what, where, when, and how. “Why” is left out. You may ask why? Regarding heart-centered listening, the word “why” comes off as judgmental. Such as, why didn’t you do your homework? This statement creates a feeling of discomfort and fear when guiding someone to look into themselves for the answer. Using who, what, how, when, and where gives more direction and less judgment. Using this question, What, if anything, may be holding you back from doing your homework? This gives space and grace for the person to look at themselves to see why the assignment wasn’t done.

I was shocked at how simple and effective these 5 words can be. I watched people discover what they wanted and how to become unstuck by having someone ask them a few questions.

And, just like magic, it takes practice to master this skill. I practiced all the time. The best was practicing with my family. As I got better, it changed how I communicated with them. My Aha moment was when I told my son he should go to the gym, and he was not giving me a reason for not going. He was just getting frustrated. I paused and said, “What, if anything, is holding you back from going to the gym now?” In a calm voice, he said, “I am waiting on a friend.” I stood there momentarily, realizing the “magic words” worked. From that day on, I continued to speak to my family using the “magic words” as the best form of communication.


Kristie De Menna is a fun-loving wife to her husband of 19 years and a doting mother to two teenage boys. She loves to travel with family and create memorable experiences that will stay with them forever. Her favorite things to do are to take walks on the beach and she often stops to enjoy sunsets as a reminder to appreciate what’s right in front of us at all times. Kristie’s love for coaching includes an appreciation and practice of self-coaching which she uses regularly to support her with being a mom of a college-aged student away from home. She enjoys learning, especially challenging her mind with creative ideas and strives to always stay true to herself, operating her life with gratitude for all she has.


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This article was posted by the DSWA.