“Word Nerd: How to use these 4 basic words for effective communication”

25 Nov

Word Nerd: How to use these 4 basic words for effective communication

We all communicate. But do we communicate effectively? Effective communication means sharing your perspective with another person in a clear and convincing style. If you aim at developing mutual understanding, winning people over to your way of thinking, and having quality conversations then you need to master effective communication.

To that end, having a good vocabulary is obviously valuable. An array of words that describe your emotions, opinions and thoughts, combined with a good understanding of grammar can open the doors to communicate what you’re thinking with precision and style.

However, the substance of your interaction is also important. Often connecting with another person involves seeing and appreciating who they are and what they do. There are many ways you can use language to encourage and appreciate. It’s not necessarily through hyperboles. Or the fanciest words. So, you don’t have to congratulate a classmate on a good maths score with a “Your perspicacity for maths boggles my brains.” Or, “Your sagacity as a maternal parent must be praised!”. Or, “Your outfit is the most aesthetically sound one I have seen in my entire life!”

Using the right words in the right context for your audience is one of the secrets to effective communication. In fact, here are 4 simple ones that, used wisely, will improve the quality of your interactions.

1. Yes!

Studies have shown the more you use this word in a conversation the more it instils motivation and confidence in you and the other person. According to reports* sales can grow from 18%-32% just by incorporating the word “yes” in a conversation. Imagine the impact it can have on communicating with someone effectively!

2. But?

Chances are that this word makes whatever you have said prior to it, redundant. The stress on the word ‘but’ mid-sentence puts an equal amount of stress on the person listening to you. They will be hanging on every word you utter after ‘but’. There is also a likelihood they will focus sharply on the words that follow. This can be used to your advantage if you learn how to use it.

3. Thanks!

It is important to let the other person know that you are showing them gratitude for the services/ help they have provided to you. If someone has done you a favour, or offered any service, it is imperative that they feel their effort was valued and appreciated. Otherwise, they are less likely to offer any help/favours in the future. And even if they do, the quality of that offer will not be the same.
Another important use of thanks is to simply acknowledge the effort someone (whether a classmate, a colleague or a friend) has made. If in a meeting, if you begin by thanking a colleague for their contribution before evaluating it critically – you will be less likely to turn them against you.

4. Help?

This word is more powerful than you might expect. There is a social stigma against asking for help from others. You might believe it is a sign of weakness. However, it’s quite the contrary. It shows that you have the intelligence to identify your limitations, and courage to speak up and ask for help to overcome them.
A simple gesture that can help forge a genuine connection. Don’t be afraid to ask!

What are your secrets for effective communication? Email us or comment below.

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