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... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"
Written by: Vickie Bevenour
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January 2006 - Make just one New Year's Resolution, Stop Sabotaging Yourself
No matter who you are, where you come from, how educated you are, or where you work, you have a pet phrase or phrases that are part of your oral and written communication. My question to you for the New Year is: “What pet phrase are you using in your communication that is sabotaging you and you don’t even know it?”
Last week I had a coaching session with my client Jon. He arrived at our meeting breathless and disgusted about the meeting that he had just left. In the first four minutes of our conversation he used the term “I am just so tired of________” at least ten times. When I inquired how he thought his listener reacted to that phrase, he looked at me with a horrified expression. He realized that every time he used that phrase he was sabotaging himself, his effectiveness, his clarity, his values and even other people’s trust in him.
Below is a list of phrases that I hear all the time in daily conversation that I believe are the most harmful to the most important person in the world…YOU the speaker:
- “You just don’t get it”
- “You are right but…”
- “I agree with you but…”
- “Yes, but don’t you think…”
- “Oh I was just going to say…”
- “Oh, it was just…”
- “Well in my experience…”
- “I am so tired of…”
- “Do you think (HR, our customers, our suppliers) are going to support you?”
- “Well it’s about time that…”
- “Well if it were me…”
- “I’m sorry to interrupt but…”
Do any of these sound familiar? What are your listeners’ reactions to these phrases? We all fall into patterns of behavior and use “catch phrases” that become a part of our personal vernacular; the focus here is to pinpoint those phrases that are inevitably sabotaging your communications efforts. When you use a phrase repeatedly, particularly one that has a bit of criticism or edge to it, the result is that you shut down your listener altogether and effectively neutralize your message.
Now for your homework exercise. Ask at least ten people, business colleagues, friends and yes, even family members the following five questions:
- What one phrase do I always use that you would like me to change?
- When I say that phrase what reaction do you always have?
- Can you give me 5 examples of a different way that I could say this?
- If I used your suggestion how would that change your reaction to what I say?
- What could you do to support me to change this part of my communication?
In my Coaching practice I have seen worlds turned upside down with the simple change of a phrase. Asking for feedback, especially on your communication style is not easy. Yet, I encourage you to complete this exercise. Making these small changes will yield huge results.
Stay tuned for next month when this newsletter will feature three tips for more powerful and effective personal communication.
Congratulations, you are taking the first step towards improving your personal communication and Deriving Results from Within.
If you like the tip, let us know but more important, share it with a friend or colleague. As always, YOUR SUCCESS IS MY GREATEST PLEASURE.