It’s astounding how phasing can change our perspectives. We can encourage a variety of behavioral changes by tweaking our language.
Some other examples you may want to try:
- “I need your help” is a great phrase to use when seeking support from another person. It’s not a question, instead, a statement of fact. To move forward with your plan, you need the help of another party. By stating this fact, you elevate the status of the other party, which is flattering and more likely to lead to their compliance.
- Instead of an apology, thank the other party. We apologize for things all too often. This leaves people feeling numb to apologies. Instead, try thanking your listener. For example, say you’re running late. Instead of apologizing for running late, thank the other party for their patience.
- Never say “that’s ok” to an apology. If someone has apologized to you, there was a good reason for it. Their behavior was not ok…that’s why they apologized. Instead of saying, “that’s ok,” respond with “thank you for apologizing.” Express your gratitude for their acknowledgment and refrain from giving a free-pass on their behavior.
- Be direct when action is needed. Indirect communication can lead to confusion. In a meeting, instead of asking “can someone take notes,” be direct and call on someone by name. “John, will you please take notes” is much clearer. Similarly, in crises, direct communication generates action. For example, “someone call 9-1-1” is not as good as, “lady standing next to the phone, call 9-1-1”.
- Prove it! Words can be so powerful that reportedly nine times out of 10, it can cure the hiccups. The next time someone has the hiccups, ask them to prove it. The thought process behind trying to produce a hiccup can be enough to trick your diaphragm into ceasing spasms.