The words you use matter
Good communication skills are essential for fostering strong relationships with team members and being able to motivate people.
Some of the things we say can improve how we are perceived. For example, saying "sorry" too often and for the wrong reasons might hinder how confident you appear. Instead of saying "sorry for the delay," say "thanks for your patience."
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If you tell someone to calm down, they will probably not calm down.
Instead, validate the person's feelings and assure them you understand. Saying, "I can see you are upset, and I want to help," will go further to calm them.
A lot of speakers will say, "We're going to address this issue." However, it doesn't mean you're going to solve the problem or take action. Try words like solve, fight against, or reduce, which communicate action.
Other swaps to consider that are more decisive:
Some people will water down a compliment by saying, "It was nothing..." or "It could be better..."
These responses are dismissive of the person giving the compliment. Instead, thank the individual and add, " I'm glad you like it." When you're thanked, instead of just saying "you're welcome, add "I'm happy I was able to help you." It leaves a positive impression with the person.
Group meetings may feel intimidating. Speaking up in meetings is an opportunity to impact developing ideas, but it can also show up your ignorance in front of a large group.
But there are real advantages to speaking up.
Everyone’s got a theory, a technique, their own special spell to coax ketchup out of the bottle. It's a skill you must master.
Of course, over the past few decades, package designers have given us the plastic squeeze bottles—the condiment world’s version of the automatic transmission or TV remote—to make life easier.
But still, for many, the ketchup bottle remains a Rubik’s Cube of mealtime.
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