Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
I love words. I’ve always loved words. I teach a lot of communication skills and I’m always amazed at how the smallest words can have the biggest impact. Great communication skills don’t need to rest on complicated models, instead we can all have fun with small words. Here are some of my favourites:
The reason why these are such jolly helpful little helpers is because we can do so much with them. Oh no you can’t!
Oh yes you can! (Panto mode over now). And if we write these words down on a piece of paper and use them, we will tend to find that conversations are more hopeful, joyful and productive.
‘What’ is an interesting word, because when we ask ‘what questions’ we invite people to think, which means they tend to give us much better answers.
In contrast, ‘why’ isn’t so useful, because it can hook us back to an early childhood experience of being asked a difficult question that we couldn’t answer. Where why closes us down, what opens us up. That’s a lovely chewy sentence, I love words!
And if we ask questions in a friendly way, and if we persist, then we are more likely to have our questions answered.
If you want to have fun and push people a bit harder you can really use the word really.
What would you really like for your birthday?
Are you really going to eat those carrots?
Is she really going out with him?
This last question was of course famously sung by Joe Jackson, who thought it would make a better lyric than the question above about carrots.
These useful little words are the salt and vinegar on our fish and chips. We don’t have to use them and if we do our linguistic culinary experience becomes much more interesting!
This week have fun using little words.
Next week: OMD!
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