Have you ever noticed that the words we choose and how we say things can have a remarkable effect on others?
I was just typing an email to a client and I started to type, “I called you yesterday and left a message”.
As soon as I typed it, I realised, I don’t need to say that.
The effect of saying that could make the receiver feel bad. She might feel guilty because she didn’t call me back. She might feel annoyed and frustrated because I reminded her that she didn’t do something. She might be angry with me for being passive aggressive and making her wrong.
By typing that, I ran the risk of harming the relationship.
The other thing to note is that including those words and especially starting with them, was not necessary.
Start with something positive. Start with something uplifting.
John Maxwell talks about what he calls “The 30 Second Rule”. In the first 30 seconds of coming into contact with someone, find something to appreciate about them or to compliment them. Of course, it must be genuine.
When you do this, you make people feel good and if they feel good around you, they are more likely to want to hang out with you and help you.
So, back to the email.
Backspace, backspace, backspace. I coached myself. “You don’t need to say that”.
Instead, I wrote, “Hey Mary, I hear you’re doing great things in your new role”, (which is true), then I went on to write the message to let her know about the next Loyal Lieutenant’s class and how her boss has approved her to do it, if she’d like to join in.
I don’t always get it right however, I constantly assess my words, especially in written communication because I have the opportunity to think about the potential effect of what I write on the other person.
How about you?
Do you think about your words and your communication and how it may land for the other person or do you simply blurt things out and then find yourself having to clean up?
Far better to check yourself in the first place.
There are many situations where we don’t need to say that.
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