“Aren’t we using the right words all the time?” you might think.
Turns out, we don’t always use the “right words” in our conversations, text messages, emails, blog posts, and so on.
Just answer a question in your head: how often do you explain to another person what you meant?
I believe we do this all the time without realization.
- We email back and forth to explain our point
- We cross-talk on the helpline to clarify things
- We argue with companies on the pricing model
All these things are quite the opposite of the epitome of a pleasant conversation.
If you think about it, lacking “right words” are often causing issues in our routine.
Here are four quick fixes:
1. Apply the “Get Back to You” Rule
It’s a made-up rule, anyway. I used to apply this to avoid confrontation or sending a wrong message with my answer. The essence of this rule is that you should buy time whenever you can, but use this rule the right way.
For instance, if the love of your life asks you to move in with him or her, and you reply, “honey, I’ll get back to you on this,” then don’t blame me. Haha!
The “get back to you” rule should be utilized when you’re in the bad mood and a prospective client rings you to talk about this great opportunity to work together. Tell the prospective client that you’ll get back to him/her tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
The reason for this is that your emotions are maybe all over the place so you might not talk with a clear head, anyway.
When you’d call back the same prospect, your conversation would be devoid of the wrong words that could have steered the prospective client away.
If you agree, just nod and smile.
2. Send a Clear Message
A huge writing mistake I used to do in the past was that I wasn’t clear with my messages. The points I used to make weren’t exactly transferring the message to the other person. I realized through phone calls and emails when people asked me to clarify whatever I said. Then, I started working on it, and I still try to improve it.
The use of “right words” in phone conversations and email messages tremendously helped me improve my communication.
For instance, When I used to reach out to companies regarding their affiliate programs, I used to mix up “payment methods” and “payout methods” until a few years ago. Then, I realized that payment methods are the payment options that a customer chooses while paying the money. On the other hand, payout methods are the payment modes that a company offers to pay commission to the affiliates.
I learned that sending a clear message makes a lot of difference in communication.
3. Appropriate Words Matter
I’m fascinated by the use of inappropriate words in everyday conversations whether we’re saying things on social media or texting our loved ones. Most of the times, we don’t even think much before conveying our thoughts to others. It doesn’t necessarily mean inappropriate words are offensive, but instead, they seem less meaningful.
For example, I used the phrase “a huge writing mistake” at the beginning of point #2. Previously, I might have written, “a huge blogging mistake” because I’m a blogger so I always talk about blogging, but the word “writing” goes right with the connotation of this blog post.
If you ever want to know whether or not you’re using the appropriate words, just analyze this: does your sentence represent the same passion as you feel about it?
You’ll get your answer because appropriate words are rather suitable for the context.
4. Prefer Common Yet Attractive Words
One of the things I learned in my business communication class during the bachelor’s degree program was that don’t use the words that the receiver may not understand. I applied that lesson in my blogging, and it works great.
Some of us love writing those fancy words to show off the vocabulary, but it could backfire in blogging. Readers find it hard to continue reading the content that seems difficult to understand. So always try to write bite-sized, digestible content on the blog.
For instance, I’d say:
“surprised” instead of “flabbergasted”
“highlighted instead of “accentuated”
Not only do readers get the point, but they also stick to your content a little longer. Plus, a huge advantage of using common yet attractive words in your copy or conversation or social media is that they don’t scare people off.
We hear, say, and write words all day long, but we don’t realize the power behind those words.
The power that translates our thoughts and ideas into messages and opinions.
Ever since I started paying attention to the words I choose to communicate with other people, I feel that I have a little bit of control over outcomes. Adding the word “please” before a request or ending the email with a “thank you so much” go a long way.
Have you ever thought about using the “right words” on the blog or social media before?
Let me know your thoughts on using the right words every day.