A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words… the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt.
—Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. humorist, writer, and lecturer.
Do you know that those words you speak at work can cost you dearly if you are not careful? We seldom pay attention to our speech habits without thinking how germane it is to our career growth.
Don’t be surprised if you are making less at work with wealth of knowledge if you lack how to sell that knowledge to your superior. I always believe that it’s not necessarily knowledge itself, but rather knowledge to sell knowledge wins hands down.
These speech habits create ambiguity, stress and many times conflict that should not have taken place if I had been conscious about the words that I speak and impact it creates.
Senator George Allen — once aspired to be a Republican Presidential nominee — had to pay dearly for having “Macaca moment“.
Words can cost you dearly at work or at your business if you do not use them in proper context.
- Don’t be Wishy-Washy; be Confident
I have a habit of injecting wishy-washy words in my conversations. I often use phrases like I wish or I hope or I think. few days ago, a friend complimented me on my blog and my instant response was, “I hope that it will be successful.” Duh ? Am I confident or just wishy-washy ? It portrays an image of low self-esteem.
- Don’t be sorry unless you truly are
I went to a nearby subway yesterday. I heard a gentleman in front of me saying, “I am sorry to bother you, but I think I like a veggie on wheat.” You are sorry to pay for the sandwich that you are not sure you wanted to eat ? Don’t litter your speech with qualifiers! There is a legitimate usage of apologies when you spill beans or rear end a car, but being sorry for every thing makes you look miserable.
- Do not speak if you don’t know
This is another self-deprecating, lethal word to speak. I was talking to a friend of mine who is a political junkie. He knows what he is talking about. So, I asked him to articulate major issues for the Presidential contenders. He, at length, talked about all the major issues that matter most to Americans. I was moving my respect bar up for his political savvy, and all of sudden he said, “It’s going to be an interesting race, I don’t know,” my respect bar fell like a crashing 747. Are you telling me that with finesse you explained what matters most to Americans, but you don’t know ? Give me a break!
- Don’t use fillers, I will lose my thriller
I have a friend who has bad habit of using too many filler words — You know; Um; Ah;Do you know what I mean;Like etc. Use of filler words too often shifts attention from the gist of the topic to these filler words. I visited a car dealer with my friend last month to look for a used Lexus. He said, “You know, I am looking for a used but reliable Lexus. You know, it should have less than 30K miles. You know, it should have GPS system. Do you know what I mean ?” Salesman laughed at him and said, “Do you know what you mean ?” It was embarrassing moment for him.
- Never use “You” turns ever!
Using “You” in a sentence interjects strong apathy — attacking verbal anecdote — that no one appreciates. It’s hard to win anyone’s heart without creating harmony and mutual respect. It’s as easy to interject “I” or “We” instead of “You” and get the message across with more firepower. I was at the local Sam’s club to return merchandise last week. I noticed that my line was long so I, naturally, tried to listen to the conversation. Customer was saying, “I am mad that you guys opened the door at 10 AM, but I was not allowed to get in.” Customer service fired back, “You are wrong. We open the door at 10 AM for the business members only.” “I don’t care,” customer replied.
These minor speaking glitches make you harder to understand, less assertive and can even make you sound stupid.
Try to analyze — for several weeks — every word you speak to improve your speech habits. You may not know, but your speaking glitches are costing you dearly my dear.
If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words. ——– Chinese Proverb
(Photo courtesy: Politico)