Watch Your Words - They Mean More Than You Think
Communication is a basic human function – yet, so many people struggle with communicating effectively. Managers, business owners, and other powerful position-holders, in particular, must have exceptional communication skills if they want to be successful. Which is why these individuals need to pay extra attention to their words; specifically, the words “need” and “have.”
There is ton of literature on how you should aim to handle communications with colleagues and with subordinates. A roadblock for a lot of entrepreneurs, however, is that they are often too focused on results to consider the path with which they took to achieve those results.
Business is cutthroat, yes, and ultimately results are what matter most. But successful entrepreneurs find ways to navigate the daily business grind with aplomb and without leaving seething colleagues and coworkers in their wake!
Removing, or modifying the use of words like “need” and “have” is a small shortcut to achieving higher morale levels and higher productivity in the workplace.
Whether you know it or not, those words have a negative connotation, and can stir up some feeling of resentment. Try replacing those words with “let’s”. The next time to need to speak with a coworker, instead of saying to them, “I need to speak with you today,” say, “Let’s talk today.” Automatically the statement is inclusive and inviting.
Note that you aren’t giving the coworker the option not to talk with you. The only difference is psychological; your coworker now doesn’t feel like they’re being told what to do, even if they are! It changes the action from being an obligation to something they’re willingly agreeing to and are an active participant in.
This works doubly for blanket statements to a group like, “This has to get done today.” Why not try, “Let’s get this done today,” or better yet, “Let’s make sure we finish this today.” Making “we” statements is always better than making “I” or “you” statements.
“I” takes credit and “you” projects blame, while “we” establishes a team.
All that being said, you don’t need to give yourself a complex over giving a colleague or a subordinate instructions. The most important aspect of communication with anyone is making sure you’re being as clear and direct as possible.
If you need an employee at work by 9am, your best path is to say that are clearly as possible. The trick is finding ways to make clear and direct statements sound positive and encouraging.
Remember, a good attitude, positive atmosphere, and happy employees make for a far more pleasant – and productive – workplace.