Is eavesdropping ever acceptable? Probably not, but yesterday I couldn’t help myself. I was in the doctor’s office and it was buzzing with phone calls, patients walking in and out, and an office staff that seemed just a wee bit overwhelmed.
I noticed that one of the admins was able to communicate with her callers and patients much more effectively than her coworkers and by eavesdropping (!), I observed that she was able to do so simply by using the “right” verbiage in each situation.
Her “go-to” words and phrases included:
I wish we could, here’s what we can do
I promise to keep you informed about the doctor’s progress and how soon he can see you
She didn’t “do” anything much different from the other admins, however, she used words that were positive, service-oriented and did not undermine what she was trying to do.
The result was that her interactions were much more pleasant and professional. Frankly, I was impressed.
Choosing the “right” words for your articles, blogs and newsletters can be even more important than what is spoken aloud. You have several advantages when you speak, specifically your tone, pacing, and inflection can help you to communicate more effectively. Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to do this in writing where you have words but the subtleties that you can use in conversation are more difficult to execute.
Here are a few suggestions that can keep you on track:
· Make it a point to reread everything that you’ve written and do so more than once. Read it the second and third times for clarity of thought, tone, accuracy, and concept.
· Get feedback on your writing from people that are impartial and not afraid to make recommendations for revisions.
· Remember that you can’t “soften” your written words with your voice and inflection. Be careful to not sound harsh or unprofessional.
People may forget the words you say but when they appear in writing they are there forever. Choose your words carefully!