Guest blog by Meryl Runion
Author of How to Use Power Phrases to Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say, & Get What You Want
Dressed in a business suit with a brief case in hand, a dark-haired woman stepped up to the counter next to me at California Kitchen and said:
Can I have a sausage pizza?
And can I have a coke?
And will you get me some fries?
It was as if she was asking permission to place her order. I wondered how she spoke at her business meetings. Here is my guess:
May I make a few suggestions?
I’d like to talk now, okay?
Or how about with her kids?
Turn off the TV, will you please?
Do you mind helping me?
Can you be quiet?
I wanted to give her a copy of my book, PowerPhrases®! The Perfect Words to Say It Right and Get the Results You Want
How often do you speak with indecisiveness and uncertainty? Women complain that men do not take them seriously at work. Women complain that their kids only respond to their Dads. This is because women are more prone to use tentative speech.
While she says: I feel pretty good about this proposal
He says: My proposal will increase revenue by 32%
While she says, I don’t think you should be watching TV until your homework is done
He says: Turn the TV off right now and do not even think about turning it back on until your homework is done!
It is said that men state opinion as fact and women state fact as opinion. Opinion stated as fact sounds judgmental, however, fact stated as opinion sounds weak. PowerPhrases® provide the middle ground where words are chosen to mean exactly what you want to say. Facts are stated as facts and opinion as opinion. Requests are made as requests and instructions are given as instructions. A PowerPhrase® is a short specific expression that gets results by saying what you mean and meaning what you say without being mean when you say it. One of the PowerPhrase® principles is that your words are as strong as they need to be and no stronger. Women often need to up the amperage; men often need to tone it down.
Upping the Amperage
Kinda, sorta and maybe are Killer Phrases that weaken your message and keep you from being taken seriously. Instead of saying style: you might want to consider, say I recommend. Instead of saying "I’ll try" say"I will"
And take those tags off the end of your sentences that make you sound like you are asking permission, like "you know?" And "right?"
If you are placing an order such as the woman at California Kitchen, do not imply you are seeking their approval of your order! Simply say, I’d like a sausage pizza, a coke and some fries.
If you want to make a point at a business meeting, again, do not ask permission; just make your point. Or you can request the floor decisively. Say: I need your complete attention here please.
If you want the TV off, say it like you mean it. Turn the TV off I'd like it turned off now.
Back yourself up with action. If they balk-they do it because they have learned that you do not mean what you say.
If you need help and expect to get it, say so. Instead of asking if they mind helping you (which they probably do mind,) simply say: I need your help.
If you want them to be quiet, don’t ask if they can be quiet, (you know they can if they want to), say: I need you to be quiet.
Let your voice carry your message. Say what you mean and speak with the decisiveness you feel and you will get more powerful results in the world.