Got an unsolicited email about negativity in speech. Don't normally read my junk mail, but SO glad this item escaped my ruthless delete stroke so that I could share the gem with you:
Negative Vocabulary: Say what you will do, not what you can't do.
We seem to specialise in telling people what we can’t do, not what we are able to do, however small.
Many people go through life pointing out things about themselves, their houses, [and] their cars that they do not like and then telling people not to take any notice of them. Notice is only taken because we point them out.
We then compound this with using negative vocabulary.
Negative words like "unfortunately" "I'm afraid" "The problem is..." "I'm sorry but..."
The situation doesn’t change, but the way the other person feels about it, changes totally. For example, which is better received?
"Unfortunately we close at 7.00pm"
"We are open every day until 7.00pm"
"Unfortunately we’re going to disconnect/repossess if you don't pay"
"Mr Smith, we need a payment today to prevent disconnection/repossession"
In my many years of experience the negative is the most widely used! If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you're absolutely right.
This Marketing Tip of the Week was provided by Ann Nobbs of Telmark Training who concentrates on working with people to improving telemarketing results.
With her negative example of "I'm sorry but..." ... the simple change to "I'm sorry and..." makes all the difference in the world.
This "and/but" thing is VERY helpful, too, if you are disagreeing with a colleague -- especially in a meeting where you don't want to come across as a jerk. After someone says something you wish to counter, or add a differing opinion on, try, "I hear what John is saying AND I'd like to add..." as opposed to "John thinks that BUT I..."
This simple change is far more respectful and far less confrontational.
The word "but" should pretty much be removed from any customer relations conversation. It will only get you in trouble.