“I barely took my eyes off her”, said my businessman friend. He was talking about a female job applicant, but wasn’t talking about physical attraction.
“She was so personable, she had a great charisma, you’d have to meet her”, he went on. “I even offered her the job. Straight away, after her first few sentences, I couldn’t help but smile. She’d perfectly mastered the art of speech. Her words have great impact. I had to hire her. She might not have the experience, but she has something others don’t. Something that rings true, when you hear it.”
How can we all achieve this? I consciously made notes…
How do we succeed when, often, we don’t know who’ll be sat across the table? Your friends might give you advice like “dress well”, “research them and their company”, or “sanitize your Facebook” (because, of course, they too, can research who they’ll be meeting).
This advice is all good advice. But it will only take you so far, because what you say during the meeting makes an impression very quickly. Much sooner than anything you do after. And it could be that a bad first impression means you don’t ever get to discuss how you can be of benefit to them.
There are eighteen key words that we can all use to gain popularity. These eighteen words form a handful of useful phrases. They are so useful that we should try to use them every day, in sufficient measure. We should do so because they improve our position, even if we do nothing else to improve our success.
Would you like to know what they are?
A boring word, you might think?
Lots of people think these titles are used only in the military, or within a courtroom, and never in common speech. However, this word takes almost no effort to say, and, when placed at the end of an answer, works perfectly in professional relationships. It’s especially effective when dealing with people we don’t know, and when they are older or more experienced than us.
Perhaps it’s a vanity of the addressee that leaves them feeling elevated after just one short word. Perhaps, to their ears, it replaces an academic title that they never achieved. These words have many associations. Chiefly, they underwrite respect and attention.
Today, they’re used by clever waiters, and businessmen. I used this word at the end of each sentence in my first job interview, at the age of 17. The business owner told me: “I’ve warmed to you. I don’t know why, but I want to have someone like you beside me in all my meetings.”
People receiving thanks have begun to use faux-modest answers, such as “not at all”, “don’t mention it”, and “no problem”. But this is a mistake.
In professional relations, every activity that helps someone has two essential effects: assistance and obligation. Because we can, and should, make the person who we selflessly helped, feel grateful. What would the world be like if some people did good, and others just gave a sloppy “thank you”, or “thanks” in return? We need to make the other person aware of our efforts and abilities. Efforts and abilities that they benefitted from. The response “you are welcome” tastefully emphasizes that we did something that’s worth their thanks, and that we were glad to help them. “No problem”, however, suggests that the other person didn’t get such a good deal, that they could have managed it alone, and even that we did a sloppy job in some way.
By expressing that what we do for others is worthwhile, we send an important message, and a show our self-awareness. It’s important for us to remember, too, that everything we do has purpose, and a value. It also reminds our counterpart that nothing comes for free.
How do we express what we can offer, in three words?
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