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Winning with People: Winning Words & Phrases


Most of us have heard the old saw, “It’s not what you say, but how you

say it.” Truer words were never spoken. Your choice of words plays a profound role in how well you connect with other people. They communicate messages about your attitude, your education and your personality. The right choice of words can open a myriad of doors for you. Saying things the wrong way, however, can sometimes have the exact opposite effect you were hoping for.

For example, imagine you have a customer who has an issue that you don’t have the authority to deal with. Here are three different ways to communicate this to your customer:

  1. “You’re going to have to talk with my manager. She’ll deal with you.”

  2. “My manager will be back in ten minutes. Talk to her.”

  3. “I think the person who can best help you is my manager. She should be back in ten minutes if you’d like to wait.”

Hopefully, the best answer (c) is obvious. But it’s amazing how frequently we hear people who don’t make the effort to choose their words judiciously. Want to improve your connection with other people? Here are three words & phrases that most often have positive outcomes:

1. “Excellent”

Rather than just saying “Thanks” the next time someone does something for you, or gives you something; say “Excellent! Thanks!” and watch how positively the person responds.

2. “Absolutely,” “Of course!” “It would be my pleasure”

The next time someone asks if you can do something, go a step further than just saying “yes.” These words send the message that, not only will you do it, you’re happy to do it.

3. “I want to get this right for you”

If you’re asking someone to wait while you look something up for them; or if you’re taking a little more time getting something done than anticipated, this phrase helps turn it into a positive. It’s the difference between: “Can you give me a minute while I look this up?” and “Can you give me a minute while I look this up? I want to get this right for you.”

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