SIX VERY HANDY WORDS TO USE – especially when it’s kicking off

4th October 2016

The best communicators say the right words when it matters.

Some of them are blessed with the Gift of the Gab, and the right words just come out all the time.

However, most of us mortals need to identify in advance the best words we should say.

Here are six I’ve found work pretty well…


This is a popular one.

Stuck in a meeting with people going in to too much detail? Try this:

“This conversation’s useful, but getting too detailed. Let’s take it offline”.

When you say this, people often stop discussing the detail. So, in effect, ‘offline’ is a nice way of saying ‘shut-up’!


Want someone to engage with you? But worried they won’t because they’re so busy? Use the word ‘quick’ to overcome their concern…

“Can I ask you a couple of quick questions?”

It’s surprising how much more appealing this is than “Can I ask you some questions?”


Want someone to do something; but concerned they might say ‘no’? Try this:

   You: “Can I ask your advice about something?”
   Them: “Of course” (this is the only answer they could give!)
   You: “It’s important we move forward with [topic]. What would you advise we do next?”


In an argument?

They can quickly degenerate into the Blame Game – ‘It’s your fault’; ‘No, it’s yours’. But it’s more important to find a solution than it is to be right. So try this:

“We’ve clearly had a misunderstanding. Let’s look at ways we can resolve it.”


Asked a question you don’t want to/can’t answer? Try this:

“I’ve got a couple of ideas about this. Let me have a quick reflect and come back to you”

This buys you some breathing space, giving you time to come up with the answer you’re happy to give.


Want to make a sale, but not come across as sales-y? Try this:

“Let’s have a quick chat to explore our options”

Six simple words. And often very effective ones.

Now, before you hit reply and tell me times these six words won’t work… I know they won’t always work! Nothing always works.

But they often do. As do others – words like easy, new, surprising, immediate, secret, definitely etc often attract attention.

So can I quickly ask your advice?

Action Point

Which of these words could you use immediately?

Choose one, use it… let me know how you get on.

And here are loads more words and phrases you can use, to help you communicate well when it matters.

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