We pay a lot of attention in the business world to the best ways to make money.
But equally important is the language we use when we are dealing with others, communicating and negotiating.
In fact, the two are related: the language you use can impact on how successful you are.
Well, if you listen carefully to the language that the most successful men and women use you will notice a few similarities.
They use clear, precise language to convey what they mean, which helps give a powerful impression.
They don’t apologise for what they’re saying, but neither are they overly aggressive.
Instead, their choice of words convey a quiet confidence, which is crucial if you’re going to succeed in life.
Here are some of the words to AVOID using when dealing with others:
Seems like a harmless enough word doesn’t it?
“I am just ringing to say…” and “I am just checking on…”
But the thing about ‘just’ is that if you use it too often you end up sounding like you are apologizing for something or that your request for information or an update on a situation isn’t that valuable.
If you need to ask someone for something, there is no need to modify your request with ‘just’.
It’s possible to politely request something without using this word.
This may ruffle a few feathers, but I think we should be professional at work and in business.
Some of my friends work with me, and other friends I have regular business dealings with, and I don’t hesitate to call them mate.
In fact that’s what I sometimes call my sons!
But be careful with people you don’t know very well. Always call people by their names until you know them a bit better.
‘Mate’ runs the risk of looking too familiar, too quickly, and could be seen as unprofessional.
We all like to sound knowledgeable and learned when dealing with others.
But one of the worst ways to try and do that is by using too much corporate speak.
Some of these terms include, ‘synergize’, ‘blue-sky thinking’, ‘match fit’, and ‘paradigm shift’.
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Not only are these excessively wordy phrases, but they are also the worst way to try and sound intelligent.
Most of the time, they make no sense either!
If you want to sound intelligent, then drop the jargon.
Using clear and simple speech to convey your meaning is much more powerful.
There are times to be sorry.
Such as when you have made a genuine error or had a conflict with someone and want to mend the bridge.
In fact I think it’s critical to know when to apologise.
But many of us use this word far too often these days.
Just like ‘just’, it’s often used when we want to ask someone for something.
“Sorry, but can I just grab that email off you?” “Sorry, but are you able to do this for me?”
Don’t be sorry for doing your job.
The word is a great underminer of your message and should be used only when you’re truly sorry.
TOO MUCH EMOJI IN EMAIL
Finally, a word on emoji.
A lot of communication is done over email and text these days and it’s important not to become unprofessional when communicating in this way.
One of the main things to watch is your use of emoji.
Feel free to use them among friends and family, but be aware when using them in business that they can make you look less formal.
If that’s what the situation calls for then go for it, but it’s best to tread carefully.
The above examples may seem like minor things, but language is a powerful tool.
It tells others how much respect to give us, how straight up we are, and how serious we are about our work.
Used correctly, words can have a powerful effect on our level of success in life.