Positive Path Recommended Reading

Words That Work!
By Candy Tymson

How often have you been put-off by something that someone said to you?

It may have made you decide not to buy from that person, or perhaps you were left feeling insulted or put down - or maybe you just felt uncomfortable, but didn't really know why.

Using the correct words can play a major role in building rapport whether it be with your customers or clients, fellow team members or business associates.

Persuasive Words

Yale University considers these to be the most persuasive words in the English language: Easy Results Save Discover Guarantee Safety Health Love Money Need Proven - and the one everybody loves to hear, You. What do you think? What words motivate you?

If you're the type who is driven by results and success then obviously those words "results" and "success" will really work for you. If however you need to see evidence that a product or service is for you then words like "results" and "save" may seem superficial while "guaranteed" and "proven" will make you feel more comfortable.

The key is simply to establish what is important to the person you are negotiating with and focus on what's important to them (not what you think they should know!)

I have won major contracts over the years simply by applying this technique. And how do you find out what's important? You just ask!

For example, some years ago when I run a public relations agency, I was tendering for the contract to handle the official opening of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. I assumed, as did the other agencies tendering, that they would be looking for a spectacular event. They weren't. I found that out by simply asking: "What's the most important thing to you about this event?"

I discovered that because of the huge number of VIPS who were to be invited they were most concerned about the handling of the logistics and protocol. We focused on our skills in handling logistics and protocol, the other companies focused on the bells and whistles. We won the contract.

Use of Jargon

Every industry has it - its own jargon - words that only make sense to those who work in that industry, or department, or organisation. If everyone knows what the jargon means it's not a problem, in fact it can often be used to effectively build rapport. However, the inappropriate use of jargon very quickly alienates those who aren't privy to what it means. If in doubt - don't use it!

Avoiding Conflict

Another very powerful communication skill is the ability to give your opinion without causing conflict or appearing to put others down. Again, a very simple technique once you know how.

How often do you hear a discussion where someone says something like "I agree, but ...." What is the message you get as soon as you hear "but"? You're wrong! (And usually you are left feeling frustrated and completely negated - right?)

One of the most powerful words I've discovered in the English language only has three letters and yet it can bridge to express a point of view in a very powerful and empowering way. The magic word is "AND".

Think about it. How would you feel if someone responded to your point of view by saying:

"I appreciate what you're saying and ..... " 
or "I understand what you're saying and ..... 
or "That's a good point and ....."

Rather than negating what the other person said (as the word "but" certainly does), by using the word "and" you are actually linking what they have said to express your point of view. When I run this exercise in training programs, the results are amazing. Participants say things like: "I find I have to think about what I'm saying" and "I have to really listen to the other person before I can make my point". Isn't that what true communication is all about?

This is an effective way to express an opinion without creating resistance or conflict. Try it it works.

By being more aware of the words that you use, what you're actually doing is building rapport with the other person, acknowledging their point of view and creating an environment of mutual respect a great way to do business.

About the author: Candy Tymson is an expert in business communication, based in Sydney, Australia. Her latest project is a workshop, tape series and book on "Gender Games: Doing Business with the Opposite Sex". Check her website for other resources on effective communication at: www.tymson.com.au 

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