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3 little words can spell success

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Enhance people’s positive impressions of you by changing three little words, suggests Joan Burge, administrative trainer and founder and CEO, Office Dynamics.

1. “Do” vs. “try.”
The first word focuses on what’s definite; the second has wimpy connotations. Notice the difference: “I will try to have that report finished Tuesday” vs. “I’ll do a preliminary outline by Tuesday for review.”

2. “Believe” instead of “think.” Example: “I believe you’re right.” It expresses more assertiveness and self-confidence, says Burge. Practice dropping the “I believe,” she says, and stick with the statement itself: “You’re right,” to be even more direct.

3. “And” instead of “but.” Set up your statement to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Instead of “I know you’ve missed the deadline, but ...” say “I know you’ve missed the deadline, and ....”

Burge points out that the “and” says, “I’m not here to blame; I’m here to work out a solution.” Which means the other person is far more likely to listen.

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