Thursday, September 26, 2013

Phrases to Avoid with Employees and Customers

As a manager, it’s important to have great communication skills in every form—written, verbal, and body language. You know quite a bit about how to make both your employees and customers comfortable and how to gain their trust. However, there are a few common phrases you should be very careful about using and avoid when possible.

“We need to talk” is a phrase associated with bad news and will immediately evoke anxiety in an employee even if the conversation will be positive. Instead, try saying “Do you have a few minutes to meet with me?” This sounds more inviting and implies a neutral tone. Also, try to not to start a negative statement with the word “You.” Even if you need to address a specific person’s issue, try saying “It’s important that everyone follows this procedure” rather than “You failed to follow this procedure.”

“Always” and “never” are absolutes and rarely accurate in any case. In conversations with employees, avoid these words with both positive and negative conversations. With customers, don’t make statements about things you aren’t sure you can do (always), but don’t disregard a request completely right away (never) if it may be possible.  “Unfortunately” immediately sounds disappointing, however, it is easy to say when something inevitable is preventing you from saying “Yes.” Instead, try using the phrase “as it turns out”. (We would love to attend the business conference, but as it turns out, we are already scheduled at another event).

There are many more phrases that could be listed here and you will discover more in your future communications. The main idea to take away is to try and avoid these connotations: negative, condescending, non-committed, and overly-authoritative. While you do need to be firm in some cases, make sure you are using the best tone and phrases possible. Make it happen!
© 2013 eMarketing 4 Business LLC

No comments: