The words you use matter

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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Communication

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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:

  • "Allowed" can be replaced with enabled or authorised.
  • Instead of "meeting" a goal, try accomplishing or exceeding.
  • "Reacting" can be substituted with responding or solving.
  • Rather than saying "I can't" when you're declining a request, try "here's what I can do for you." This way you'll set a boundary about what you're not willing or able to do and indicating a willingness to find a solution.
  • When you don't know something, instead of shrugging off the inquiry, say, "I'll find out for you."
  • When you start a request with "I hate to bother you..." you've assumed that you're creating a burden. Instead, assume it is not a problem and drop this from your language.

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.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • Rather than saying "I can’t" or "I’m not able to" when you’re declining a request, focus on the positive
  • Instead try, “Here’s what I can do for you.” That way, you’ve set a boundary with your client or colleague about what you’re not able or willing to do, but you’ve also indicated that you’re willing to find a workable solution.

These 7 phrases can help you sound more powerful at work

fastcompany.com

Speaking up in meetings

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.

  • You may influence ongoing events.
  • Your comments may prompt new ideas in your colleagues.
  • Speaking up gives other people a chance to get to know how you think.

How to get more confident speaking up in meetings

fastcompany.com

The Rubik‘s Cube of mealtime

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.

This new Heinz bottle label shows you how to pour ketchup

fastcompany.com

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