10 Ways to Say the Right Thing Every Time
Powerless is a myth. Something as simple as a raised eyebrow has the power to influence.
If leadership is influence, everyone leads. The issue is where.
Destruction is easier and faster than construction.
Destruction is casual. Construction requires intention.
When you remember that bad is five times stronger than good, the need to be intentionally positive is all the more necessary.
Words are tools of influence.
At the beginning, you say things you need to say. As time passes, you learn to say what others need to hear.
It only takes two words to be a person of influence.
Two words that deflate:
- You’re screwed.
- Who cares?
- You lose.
- Big deal.
Two words that move the agenda forward:
- Why wait?
- What’s next?
- What else?
- Do it.
Two words when things go wrong:
- It happens.
- Forgive me.
- Let go.
- Don’t quit.
- I understand.
- Move on.
- I’m listening.
Two words when things go right:
- Thank you.
- Great job.
- Love it.
Two words that challenge:
- Reach higher.
- Try again.
- Go large.
- Think again.
10 ways to saying the right thing every time:
- Be soft when communication is hard.
- Always speak to make things better.
- Imagine you’re the person you’re speaking to.
- Speak to older people like they’re your parents.
- Speak to younger people like they’re your brothers and sisters.
- Seek feedback on your communication style and effectiveness.
- Practice important communications with trusted colleagues.
- Dial back strong emotion.
- Craft words that invite desired responses.
- Exercise courtesy. Good manners matter most when you feel like ignoring them.
What high impact two-word phrases can you use today?
What rules for saying the right thing do you suggest?
*Facebook fans created a list of high impact two-word phrases.
Love it. Great job, Dan. Thank you! Oh, and I can’t resist my own two favourite two-word phrases: Stay safe, Always Care!
Thanks Paul. The fact that you care helps me care!
Glad you added two great two-word phrases.
Great post Dan! For me this has been harder to live than to read. To say the right thing, for me, first takes Courage – the courage to speak up when the time is right. It is sometimes easier to say nothing and walk away, and the opportunity to do something powerfully positive, gets lost. I also remind myself often to speak the Truth in Love – as it is much easier to tell Lies in Love (flattery) or speak Truth in Hate (destroys relationships). This post has been a great reminder for me: Be careful little tongue what you say.
Thanks Duane. You give us a glimpse of yourself and I respect and appreciate that.
Your addition of courage to the conversation is so important and useful. We might say that the things we fear the most are the most important things to do.
Good advice on how to speak. Words are the strongest weapon or the greatest bridge we have towards others.
Thanks Peggy. Bridge is a powerful metaphor when it comes to using words. I’m going to keep that in mind.
Fantastic post! And I have found the more senior the person is on the food-chain in an organization, the words (both negative and positive) are magnified, become larger and more impactful. Have a great weekend Dan. bdb
Thanks Dan. One of the steps on our leadership journey is owning the power of our words and taking responsibility for their impact. We can no longer say whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want.
Depending on my mind’s focus day the time I read your posts, I look for advice on working with my team in my direct sales business, or how to get the most of my high school math students. This post managed to get me to think of each group simultaneously! Kudos!
Going into the start of a new school year, it’s critical to build up students. I plan on utilizing the “two words” by getting students engaged in a discussion somehow. (That part is still rolling around in my brain)
Thanks tootalltrees, It’s a pleasure to serve! Best wishes for the new school year and if you think of it, I’d love to hear how your discussions go.
Good morniong Dan;
Today’s blog piggy-back’s rather nicely off of yesterdays. The words we choose to use ‘Reflect who we are’. They convey sincerity or insincerity, they create the perception of one’s level of trust and integrity.The words we choose are a direct reflection of our Emotional Inteligence. They can be used to inspire and lift the spirit of others, or they can demoralize, tear down and wound one’s prcious pride. When our words do not communicate the message we want to convey they cause confusion and apprehensivness.
The old saying, “Choose your word’s wisely have never been SO important as they are in todays fast paced infromation age.”
OUR WORDSS ARE WHO WE ARE, AT THE END OF THE DAY, BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE!!!
Cheers Dan & ‘Happy-Friday’
Thanks SGT. YOu got me thinking about the importance of asking ourselves, how do these words express who I am. We could go one step further and ask, “How do these words express who I want to be.” It’s a good way to remain authentic.
Being authentic is a huge part of our Integrity. The words we choose will either confirm, or deny any level of perception other have regarding our Integrity. “So, next time your temper get’s the best of you, & your mouth take’s off before your brain’s in gear, may I advise you choose (small words), THEIR EASIER TO EAT”…
Great post. To answer your question, here is my suggestion for two powerful words: “I’m listening”
Thanks Julie. Good one!
Raised eye brows are powerful. So are rolling eyes, which can be humorous ways to communicate to a friend, but can be horribly disrespectful in a meeting. I know because I’ve made that mistake. Also be sure your body language and words are in concert.
Thanks Joe. I’m sitting up straighter thanks to your comment.
Be truthful when talking with anyone – including yourself!
Thanks Bob. Sometimes it takes awhile to get to the truth, especially when it’s about me. Dig deep.
Dan, today “I care” jumps out for some reason for the 2 words, probably because we really do care!
Many tangents, how we say we care, how we show we care, in our thoughts and in our deeds.
Cheers for happy Friday
Thanks Tim. Love that! Sometimes we get “care fatigue.” We care when others don’t. We care more than others. I’ve been down that path and it doesn’t go where I want to go.
Thanks Dan. I really love your posts and this one hits at the core. The new school year is here teachers and administrators have a chance to start again with kids and each other. I am going to print this post and use it often. We sometimes forget it’s not just the spoken word but the written. Email made be convenient but can send the wrong message. I will use this as a reminder. Thanks!
Thanks Dora. Glad you added written words to the conversation. They matter too.
Love the idea that every school year is a chance to start again. How refreshing!
Dan, one reason I like your articles is they are short. Your message really came through short and clear today!
Two words CAN make a difference.
I also know one word that makes a difference for a lot of us … Dan!
Thanks Jimmy. You’re very kind. I must say that I often think of your book Creative Followership. One of the powerful ideas I keep remembering is follow someone who’s going somewhere. When you focused on leading you didn’t get where you wanted to go. When you focused on following you were more successful. “Follow Someone”
Dan, there you go. You have done it again! Jimmy
“Construction requires intention” is the best way to say right thing every time. I can use two words- understanding and judgement. Leaders need to understand others and situations before communicating anything. They should gather full and relevant information. This helps to create right intention. Secondly, leaders should not judge people on some information or perception. They should overcome their personal biases before making judgement about anything. First of all, making judgement about others is not good. However, if is required to do that, they should keep their perception aside and take information into account. At workplace, it is very common for organisational leaders to carry away by perception. That is insidious.
First and last rule, I feel is asking question to self- Am I influenced by anything. Leaders should ask question to themselves whether they are right in their intention before saying anything to others.
Thanks Dr. Gupta.
I’ll add, Have fun. 🙂
LOVE IT. DAN 🙂
HAIKU – TWO WORDS MAKES A DIFFERCENE:
Fantasy born out of Love.
You alone create Joy & Peace & a happy Now – a successful Future!
Thanks Beate. Great talent. 🙂
Two words doe you: You’re Good! (of course I shothened uou are to one, technically this is three, hope it counts 🙂 ,
The basic rule that I use is: Is it true or is it helpful. I use this before I speak my mind. Also,i talk, palin, simple using soft words but the tone of my voice gets in the way.
I will post this in our staff bulletin and see what feedback I will get. 🙂
Let’s not forget–when saying the right thing–to say “the person’s name.” It’s the dearest thing to the heart, and a key to interpersonal communications and relationships.
And per Peter Drucker, “Before speaking, ask: Is it kind, necessary, is it true, and does it improve on silence?”
Dan – excellent points, sometimes the facial expressions can confuse the message. I’ve been told by my team that some of my facial expressions say more than the words which has caused some confusion. Now that I’m aware of it, I’ve been working on making sure I don’t send a mixed message.
I love “good manners matter most when you feel like ignoring them”. And I always love the point that the words are one thing, it’s also important the tone you use and the body language that either aligns with or conflicts with the words and the tone.
Terrific, as always!
Your posts are always so timely and appreciated. This was very helpful. I do like to use, “Fight fear” and “Shine on.” Thanks again Dan…I’ll definitely be sharing this one.
Just found your blog – love this post. I’d add “Be brave.”
Awesome! Thanks for sharing! Two words: You rock!
When things go wrong and the person comes to me and tells me I usually say “no problem”
When someone wants something from me, and especially in a hurry, I say “no problem”
These two words work great in both situations
Thoughts most often precede words. “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Lao Tzu
I would add, “Yes, and…” here:
Two words that move the agenda forward:
Great post, once again, Dan! Thanks so much for this article. Resonates with me for sure. Do you ever speak or provide consultancy services? You’re good!
Great article. Thanks for sharing. My two word phrases most used are! It’s ok, take care, it’s safe, well done, thank you. Top job. Keep thinking!
Thanks for letting us pursue this our dreams to a better understanding. Thanks for this interesting post!
This is awesome stuff Dan and so practical to apply in our ministries. Thanks for your experience and willingness to share your wealth of knowledge with us.