Our words impact how others perceive us and our ability to influence.
Sounds obvious doesn’t it. Surely its not that hard. The usual. Be succinct. Be focussed. Avoid waffling. Easy right?
That is until you focus in on someone’s language and start to notice that much of their everyday conversation is undermining their authority and ability to influence. Really, I hear you say, why is that?
Well, think about the old mindset question of “Are you a glass half empty? Are you are a glass half full?” kind of person. It is a societal norm for people to worry about or focus on the negative i.e. “half empty”. As such, the way we speak reflects this.
Its a case of “what you focus on, you get”. In this case, if your language is focussed on the thing you want to avoid then in fact you’re focussing people on these exact things. The problems, difficulties, challenges, that things can’t work.
Your mind is fairy straightforward in that it believes everything we tell it. Tell it I can’t, it goes ok, I can’t then.
What the expert influencers know, is that your language, what you tell yourself and others is crucial to your success.
So if you’re looking for ways to increase your influence to get ahead in your career, pay close attention to your language and your tone.
Here’s my top language swaps to improve your influence: (click below to download the free PDF)
Tip #1: Assume the outcome:
Remove the question of whether you will or you won’t achieve something. State it like its a foregone conclusion that it will happen.
Tip #2: Avoid BUT
The use of BUT in a sentence totally negates everything that came before it. e.g. Yes I agree that we should do that BUT. All the person hears is what comes after the BUT.
Tip #3: Avoid Negatives
Mostly used in stating what you want to avoid. “Don’t do this. We don’t want this to happen.” Your brain doesn’t hear the “don’t”. In fact, it deletes it. So all it does is focus you in on what you want to avoid. Ask any parent thats ever told their kid don’t touch that. We all know what happens next ? Restate it to focus on what you want. I don’t want to be sick becomes I am healthy.
Tip #4: Avoid using global statements
e.g. always, everything, never. These tend to be very inflammatory and cause the person on the receiving end to be defensive. Soften it using often, sometimes etc.
Tip #5: Get comfortable with increasing the urgency
Statements like “Can we please” Can I ask tend to come across as lacking confidence (even though the person using them is attempting to be respectful ) Especially when the topic is controversial. When urgency is required, being more direct helps increase this. “We must do this by xx” or “Its imperative that this decision is made by xx”
Tip #6: Eliminate “just” from your vocabulary
It shows a lack of confidence and belief in what you are saying. If your audience perceives you are not fully onboard with what you are saying then they will not be either.
Here’s my synopsis of the main Influence Language Statements you should start incorporating into your language and see what a difference it makes!If you want to learn more, check out the upcoming “Speak with Confidence and Impact” 2 day course