Mary Rae Floresca | Negosentro.com
Your wrong choice of words could be sabotaging your communication skills. It is not only a barrier between you and your listener. It can be misunderstanding and it leads to failure of your goals. The author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results, Darlene Price, said, “Words matter. They are a key component of persuasive communication. Regardless of the audience, topic, or industry, or whether the setting is a stand-up presentation, sit-down conversation, telephone discussion, or an online meeting, a leader uses language to influence someone’s mind in order to achieve a certain result. That’s one reason they’re seen as leaders; their words compel people to follow.”
So if you want to be an excellent communicator, best to rethink what you say and stay away from these words from your vocabulary:
1. “But” or “Sorry, but..”
This word becomes so powerful when used in a sentence that depicts negativity in the end. Some people have a knack of telling a positive phrase in the first part of their sentence but because of the word “but,” the listener will get the idea that there is something wrong. An example is when you’re being evaluated by your boss, he would say, “You’re doing a great job, but….” And not only that, “but” is even used in the first phrase by saying, “Sorry, but I think your idea is…”
We usually say this when we are not confident enough of what we say to the person or we don’t want to seem too forward and frank. Compare if the two sentences below. If you want to be sincere and get your listener’s attention, ditch the “just” word, it’s like a sheepish statement to be used for formal workplaces.
a.I’m just clarifying…
b. I’m clarifying…
Author of the book Playing Big, Tara Mohr, said in Cosmopolitan Philippines Magazine, “The word ‘actually’ makes it sound as though you’re surprised that you disagree, Linguistics called these words- ‘actually’, ‘just’, ‘almost’ -hedges, and research shows low-status people use more hedges than high-status folks”.
This is one of the common words we squeeze in to our statements especially when we are assigned to do a task. This is how your performance is reflected and when you say that, it means, possibly you cannot do the task efficiently. “It also tells them you’re not completely confident in your abilities to get it done, which isn’t the message you want to send at work,” Price added in the article. This is okay to be used when you’re speaking with a friend like, “I will try to go to your party”. But to use it especially towards your boss? No can do. Say “Yes I will have it done tomorrow,” for example.
5. “Does that make sense?” or “makes sense”
Saying “does that make sense” especially in the end of your sentence shows that it’s as if what you said cannot be understood. Mohr added, “This suggests that you didn’t make sense-not that you expressed complex and novel ideas that your audience might need to think about.” We should practice on asking people directly, for example by saying, “Let me know if you have further questions”, or ask, “Am I making myself clear?”