Throughout the course of human history, language has played a role of the utmost significance by providing a medium for self-expression, for creativity and for communication. Every word we speak and every conversation we have in our lives, every day, presents an image to those around us, be those our family, our friends, or our co-workers. Yet, as an entrepreneur in today’s especially competitive marketplace, language is subject to even more scrutiny than it is for the average employee. Emails, boardroom meetings, and even casual conversations are open to potential criticism considering the entrepreneur is the leader and is responsible for setting a stellar example at all times.
To speak poorly, abrasively, or even incorrectly, could put forth a perceived image that may tarnish the reputation said entrepreneur has, or you have, worked so hard to build in the first place. Although seemingly unfair that something as simple as a momentary lapse in vocabulary or grammatical understanding could affect a reputation that has taken so much work to build, it is the simple truth that, literally, a single word could ruin a lifetime of work. That said, there are a few words, in particular, that entrepreneurs (or those managing people at all, really) should make good use of while they speak, because they allow motivated entrepreneurs, or again, you, to get what they (you) want without stepping on anyone’s toes, to get the job done without hurting anyone’s feelings:
The word “because” forces us to provide an explanation for our request. By explaining the underlying motivation for your request, you are providing the subject in question with a reason to do what you want them to do. As Robert Cialdini describes in his book, “because” lays down the foundation for a “request+reason” remark that makes whomever you are asking a favor of to be more inclined to grant said favor.
Manners. Politeness. Graciousness. The word “thanks” illustrates an appreciation for whomever you are speaking with. Thus, if you begin a conversation with it, you are starting things off on a good note. By displaying you will undoubtedly be very thankful for whatever you are asking for, you are essentially giving the person in question another reason to help you out, because it will make you happy (which isn’t always reason enough, but it certainly can’t hurt). Not to mention, “thanks” exudes a positive tone that is likely to benefit your end of things in the conversation.
By saying “together,” you are establishing a sense of camaraderie. You are fostering a sense of unity, of collaboration and of hopefully corroboration. By cultivating this implication of, well, togetherness, you are strengthening your relationship, and thus are strengthening the argument behind your request.
There are many words in the English language that should be regularly incorporated into daily conversation and these are but a few. While it may seem superficial that something as basic as word choice can actually determine your relationship with a human being you may see every day, that is no reason to neglect its potential impact on workplace efficiency, culture, and what really matters, success.