Monday, July 12, 2010

Your Words - What They Say About You To Others - Douglas Castle

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Your Words - What They Say About You to Others.  - Douglas Castle (

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Members:

Your words, and the phrases that you use, speak volumes to others about whether you are dealing from weakness or strength -- from knowledge or ignorance. I had a lengthy discussion with my dear friend and Co-Chaiman of TNNWC Group, LLC, Adam J. Kovitz.

Just to solidify the concept, some examples follow. Of course, your words are only a small portion of your total sensorial communication to others...body language, posture, facial gestures, pregnant pauses, the use of intervals of silence, had gestures, head nodding, eyebrow raising, your vocal pitch (the highness or richness of your voice), your vocal speed the avoidance of "thinking out loud" with "er...ah....let's see...that's a tough one...ummm....ummmm," and numerous other signaling devices help to tell your audience (whether one individual or an auditorium full) whether you are worth taking seriously or not.

1. If you are in command, you won't say in a pleading tone, "We need to have you folks buy-in to...." You will say " In order to do this properly, we'll require each of you to fall into line with this policy...." The word "need" speaks of weakness, and the concept of "buy-in" turns you from a leader into a pitchman.

2. Don't talk around a point. Get to the point and follow it with a call to action. After every conversation, the person you've spoken with should be expecting something more from you, or he (or she) should have an assignment which he or she is obligated to give to you within a defined timeframe.

3. Don't ask,"Would you be interested in...????" Say: "I'd like to discuss something with you, and I want your input."

4. If you ask a question, and there is silence in response -- leave it there -- don't fill the gaps with conversation. Leave the other party to think, and to answer. Don't let him or her off the hook. Be patient -- you have the leverage if you've asked a question.

5. Don't ask, "Are you interested in......?" Instead ask, "Do you believe that you're qualified for..."

These are just a few examples. Be conscious of your speech. Avoid the use of any words which show uncertainty or weakness, or speak of desperation. Remember: It is Human Nature. People are attracted to strength and decisiveness.

By the way, another hint: Never be corned into making a stupid or feeble answer to an important question. 

Either, 1. Buy time to get it right ("That is an important question. It is too important to give you a casual or off the cuff answer. It warrants some further exploration on my part. I would suggest we revisit this within_________days, so I can give you my complete thoughts. Your question is important enough to answer properly, is it not?" The other person has been put on the spot, and you have bought some time to make an intelligent decision or reply after conducting some research.) or, 2. Refer a qualifying question back to the other party ("It would be helpful to all of us here if you would be specific about the exact circumstances that you are referring to in somewhat general terms." -- This puts the other party off-balance, on the defensive, and might de-fuse the intensity of the question. It also looks, to both the other party and the audience, as if you are eager to answer the question, if the other individual can find the words to express it properly. It makes you look a bit smarter, and makes the interrogator have to do some work to answer what seems to be a reasonable request for clarification. The interrogator will be seen as being on the defensive, and you will be perceived as being in control.

If you've just learned something new, put it to use. Starting now.


Douglas Castle

Douglas Castle
Join my TNNWC Group, LLC collaborative business community (GICBC) at no cost by clicking on

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