Where We'll Be
National Harbor, MD
10/27/13 - 10/30/13
New Orleans, LA
3/23/14 - 3/25/14
4/23/14 - 4/25/14
"Keep your thoughts positive because they become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny."
- Mahatma Gandhi
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
- George Bernard Shaw, author
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."
- Henry Ford
A baby mosquito came back after his first flight.
His father asked, "Son, how was your first day out?"
The baby mosquito replied, "Dad, it was wonderful! Everyone was clapping for me."
Moral: Take everything positively.
Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar.
One says, "I think I've lost an electron."
The other says, "Are you sure?"
The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive!"
A linguistics professor was lecturing his class one day.
'In English', he said, 'A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.'
A loud voice from the back of the room piped up, 'Yeah, right.'
The Power of Positive Language
Positive language is very powerful and yields positive outcomes. If we are more intentional about the words we choose, we can deliver our messages in a positive manner and avoid unnecessary conflict and negative reactions.
Which sign are you more likely to obey?
"Keep off the grass!" or "Please walk on the pathways."
Research shows that we comprehend a positive statement 30-40% faster than we do a negative statement. Our mind actually has to unscramble a negative message to determine the meaning. Consider the following statement: "Don't think about a watermelon." What is the first thing that comes to your mind? A watermelon! Your mind had already pictured the watermelon before you understood what the message was asking you to do. When you have an important message to deliver, state it in a positive manner. For example, say "Please remember" instead of "Don't forget." "Please use your inside voice" instead of "Don't yell!" The positive suggestion will help the recipient understand what you want them to do.
Positive language focuses on what can be done instead of what can't be done. Positive messages suggest alternatives, show a willingness to help, and stress positive actions and positive consequences. Alternatively, negative messages often sound like commands or have subtle implications of blame. Negative messages can also imply an unwillingess to help or suggest alternative solutions.
Do you want to learn more about creating a positive work environment and strengthening customer relationships? Let SCS come onsite and conduct a workshop on communication and positive language for your office.
Beware of Trigger Words
When we deliiver a negative message, we often use terms or phrases that trigger a negative reaction in the recipient. When you are faced with a situation where the real answer is "No," learn to think of NO as "Needs Options." When someone receives a "No" or a negative message, that person feels a total lack of control, which triggers frustration and negative emotions. Using positive language doesn't mean that you should always say "Yes." However, you should always deliver a message in the most positive way possible and avoid triggering negative emotions. Remember: Small changes in words - big impact!
Check out this list of "trigger" words and phrases. Think about the emotions they can trigger when YOU are the customer.
- I'll try...<implies possible failure>
- That's not our policy...
- That's not my job...
- You can't...
- I have no idea...
- You must...
Learn to replace phrases like the ones above with more positive statements like the ones below - and enjoy more positive results!
- Here are some options...
- I will...
- Here's what I can do...
- Let me see what I can do...
- I'm confident that we can...
- I'll find out...
- What works well is to...
In extremely difficult situations, even if you can't turn the message into a positive statement, you can strive for a "neutral" effect. Consider this situation: You are tasked with telling a client that they must make an additional $3,000 contribution to the plan due to an error or failed testing. Instead of saying "Unfortunately, you must make an additional $3,000 contribution to the plan," you can say "An additional $3,000 contribution will be required." A passive statement like this is more "neutral" and doesn't come across as a command.
Click here to review a list of 25 positive words and phrases to help in various business situations.
Five Ways to Say No
in a More Positive Way
In today's fast-paced world, we all have obligations that place demands on our time. Managing priorities is about learning to say "Yes" to the right things and "No" to the wrong things. When you are asked to do things that may take time away from other important duties, you should first assess the actual commitment. Before responding, ask "Can you tell more more about the time commitment?" If the commitment is more than you can accept and you must decline, look for the best way to deliver the message. Use expressions that show concern or empathy, or suggest another time or alternative solution when possible.
Consider the following responses:
"I have too many things on my plate right now, but I'd love to be asked at another time."
"I'm completely booked up this month. Can I have a rain check on that?"
"Have you thought about asking Susie? I think she'd be great at this."
"I know how important this is to you. I'm just not in a position to say yes right now."
"I only have five minutes right now to discuss this issue. Is that enough time or should we schedule a time to meet?"
What our Customers are Saying...
"I thought Chris Stroud did an excellent job. In many ways hers was the most useful of all the virtual sessions"
- NAFE/NIPA virtual attendee of "Communication Tips for a Commoditized World" session
"This was one of the most useful and informative seminars I have been to. It was full of practical information and updates that were presented in an easy to understand manner."
- Industry Update and Communication/Customer Service session attendee