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'Would you be willing?': words to turn a conversation around (and those to avoid)

Speak vs. Talk

While the two verbs are totally synonyms, their use has quite a different impact on people. Therefore, when you invite someone 'to talk', studies have shown that you are more prone to meet resistance than when you just propose them 'to speak'.

The first verb, it seems, is often associated with the idea of not paying enough attention to the other person's words.

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'Would you be willing?': words to turn a conversation around (and those to avoid)

'Would you be willing?': words to turn a conversation around (and those to avoid)

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/dec/04/would-you-be-willing-words-turn-conversation-around

theguardian.com

8

Key Ideas

Choose your words wisely

Choosing wisely your words can actually be the key to a successful negotiation.

For instance, the use of 'willing' in phrases such as 'are you willing to come for a meeting?' has the surprising positive effect to make people want to respond affirmatively. For an even better result, try using it after having met with some resistance.

Avoid using 'Just'

When writing emails or even in speaking, individuals, tend to use quite a lot the word 'just'; while it is a polite term, 'just' suggests also insecurity and the need to ask for permission.

Therefore, whenever you are try to show some authority, go for another word. It is safer.

Speak vs. Talk

While the two verbs are totally synonyms, their use has quite a different impact on people. Therefore, when you invite someone 'to talk', studies have shown that you are more prone to meet resistance than when you just propose them 'to speak'.

The first verb, it seems, is often associated with the idea of not paying enough attention to the other person's words.

Avoid asking 'How are you?'

Even though most of us perceive the usual 'How are you?' question as being very polite and necessary, recent research has shown that, on the contrary, this irritates the other person.

As it is only a formal and, therefore, cold way to establish a first connection, better just drop it and get straight to the point, instead of prolongating a small talk that is totally unnecessary.

Some vs. Any

We were taught, from the very first years of studying English, that 'any' and 'some' can be used in similar sentences. However, conversation analysts have come to the conclusion that 'any' usually meets with resistance, whereas 'some' will lead to a better response. This might be because 'any' is also used in negative sentences.

So next time you need to use one of these two, go for 'some' in order to get more specific answers.

Avoid saying 'Yes, but'

Saying 'Yes, but' in a discussion shows that we do not agree with the other person, however, we are trying to keep it polite.

Nevertheless, in order to come to a mutual agreement, questions like 'What do you need?' should be preferred.

Use 'It seems like'

There are a few known tips to successfully lead almost every discussion. First and foremost, one should show that he or she listens actively to the other person.

One way to do this is by using sentences such as 'It seems like what you are saying is...'. After all, everybody enjoys being listened to.

The magic of 'Hello'

'Hello' is a word that brightens up everyone's day. Therefore, whenever a tense situation emerges, just clam down the spirits by introducing your own sentence with a simple 'Hello' and you will see how completely miraculously things will just get better.

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