According to an article by Jayson Demers on entrepreneur.com, what we get either in the form of cooperation or assistance from others depend to a large degree on how we present our arguments and requests.
Whether in life or business, these 10 words may well be the difference between assent and decline. Consider for yourselves.
Because helps you explain your motivations for every element of your request.
In one experiment, people were told to ask if they could cut in line. The study found that people were far more likely to allow others to cut in line when the word “because” was used, as opposed to when it was not used (i.e., “May I cut in line?” vs. “May I cut in line, because I’m very late for school?”).
This was true even if the reason given was ridiculous (e.g., “May I please cut in line because I need to get to the front sooner?”). The word “because” seemed to trigger something in people that caused them to grant the request.
A simple thanks is an expression of immediate gratitude, and if you start your conversation with it, you will start everything off on a good note. Showing that you are appreciative will make people more interested and willing to help you out.
When extending requests, too many people make it all about themselves. They will say things like, “I want this because I need it” giving their own personal reasons why they want it. Instead, try framing the conversation in the perspective of the person you are talking to.
How will your request affect them? For example, something like “I think you will see how doing this will help you” makes your listener the centre of the conversation, which makes for a more positive engagement.
If helps you break a situation down to its most basic terms by exploring different outcomes. As long as you have done your homework, you will come out in a good position.
For example, consider: “If we go with Option A, we will see so-and-so benefit, and if we go with option B, everything will remain the same.”
Using the word could implies openness, unlike the word won’t or never. This keeps the conversation positive, and further allows you to explore your options, which is especially useful when your conversational partner has a different opinion or request for you.
For example, “I could take on the extra work, but I would prefer it if you gave me more time.”
Like the word you, we takes some of the focus off your own self-interest. This makes you seem less selfish and more welcoming. It also shows that you see the two of you as a single unit, and that any positive benefit for you will be a positive benefit for them.
Together works much the same way that we does. It implies a degree of familiarity and cooperation, helping to smoothen your conversations and make your requests easier to swallow. Anything you can do to make your request seem like a mutual opportunity, or appear to be the idea of the other person is going to help you.
The word fact can help you persuade someone to your line of thinking. There’s only one thing to consider though — the facts you claim must be actual facts, supported by evidence or research of some kind.
Still, using more facts in your conversations will help you strengthen your position, and help you be more persuasive.
During the conversation, you won’t agree with everything the other person tells you, and you won’t comply with every request. But shutting these requests down with a no or a never is negative and unproductive. Instead, state that you are open to the idea, but further negotiation will be required before you fully agree.
Will is the word we use to switch to future tense, and it’s a powerful word because it implies what happens after the conversation is over with a degree of certainty. Stating that you will do something is a direct action and helps you to be clearly understood.
These ten words are not magical, nor do they make you a controller of your listeners’ minds. But when used in the proper context, they can help open the door to meaningful conversations and mutual negotiations.
You will be seen by others as more open, intelligent and persuasive, thus, helping you have an edge when making a request. Also, benefits such as these are not limited to only the above-mentioned words.
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