Words that Influence

wordsOur words will either impact or distract our listeners from taking action on what we have to say. Having influence Monday to Monday requires more than simply showing up and having a conversation. The level of influence my team and I teach requires one to be strategic about word choice and placement. Having influence Monday to Monday requires taking into consideration how your word choice will affect the way your listeners perceive you and your message.

Your words determine:

  • How your listeners respond.
  • What they hear and take away from the conversation.
  • Whether or not they are influenced to act on your recommendations.

Your words can change your world if you allow it.

This week during every conversation, pay attention to every word you speak and how your listener responds. The following chart is a starting point to give you friendly reminders of the words and phrases to avoid as well as words that influence.

Words/Phrases to Avoid Words/Phrases That Influence
“But” and “however” – nothing good comes after these words, especially when they’re stated after an acknowledgement. Replace “but” and “however” with “and” or a pause.
Problem Challenge, opportunity
“You guys” We, you
Do you have a question? What questions do you have?
Ground rules Rules of engagement
Cost, fee Investment
“I understand…”I hear…” Acknowledge that your listener’s concern has value by recognizing their issue rather than using the filler statements, “I understand” or “I hear…”
Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve… To increase clarity and articulation, replace contractions with: would have, could have, should have.
Don’t Avoid
“I think”I believe” Simply state what you think and believe.
“We are here today to talk about…”Today we are going to talk about…”

I’m going to talk about…”

Avoid these filler phrases.  When you struggle with how to begin, begin by stating your opinion, the action you want your listeners to take and the benefits for them.
“In conclusion…”In summary…”

Before we wrap up here today…”

Avoid inviting your listener to check out.  Instead, immediately state your opinion, a specific action step and the benefits for your listener.
Well, actually, basically These words question the credibility of your answer. Be careful beginning your answers with these words.

What words and phrases do you avoid to increase your level of influence through your word choice?  Please share your recommendations with us.

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