RAB Research Archive

Words to Avoid…



In keeping with yesterday’s theme, we wanted to share more words to avoid. The goal is to communicate clearly, confidently and precisely. Words matter, simple words can have a significant impact on the message.

Here are a few to avoid:

JUST: When you call a prospect, client or friend and say something similar to: “I’m just calling to check in, or I’m just calling….” Using the qualifier “just” minimizes what you are about to say, and actually tends to minimize the importance of what you’re saying.

I’m just calling to see how you are doing …

I’m calling to see how you are doing …

See the difference? Calling to see how someone is doing is important, thoughtful and appreciated. Don’t minimize it by saying “just” in front of it. Most don’t do this intentionally; it’s become a crutch.

BUT: When you are discussion a strategy with a client and they bring up a challenge, a concern, or an objection and you say: “I agree with you, but …

Anytime you use “but” after a phrase you are really saying the opposite. I agree with you, but I don’t. What you’re trying to accomplish is to have them consider another point of view or think about something that is outside their current perception.

Instead try: “I agree with you, and at the same time …” “But” negates what you just said; “and at the same time” actually allows for an alternative perspective without sounding hostile or argumentative.

We just hope you understand the importance of the words you use in communication. You may think we are being picky, and we certainly understand you thinking one or two words don’t matter. But the words you use affect how effectively others receive your message.

Rewrite of previous paragraph: We hope you understand the importance of the words you use in communication. You may think we are being picky, and we certainly understand you thinking one or two words don’t matter. At the same time, the words you use affect how effectively others receive your message. The goal is to ensure that people understand clearly what you are trying to communicate.

Source: Jeff Schmidt , RAB





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