People Skills: Change ONE Unfortunate Word for Great #Peopleskills
by Kate Nasser |
People Skills: A Single Word Can Make the Difference!
As The People Skills Coach™, I often coach and teach about words that make or break communication in professional and personal relationships.
Unfortunate is one such word.
The dictionary listing of unfortunate wouldn’t make you think it could cause people skills trouble.
1. suffering from bad luck
2. unfavorable or inauspicious
But when our words offend people or actions harm others, labeling it unfortunate can be a deadly people skills mistake.
Using the word unfortunate in this case is insulting to those we’ve hurt because it underplays the impact of what we did to them.
It sounds like a mere oops.
By trivializing the impact, we put the relationship at risk.
Replace that one word — unfortunate — with any one of these words:
Wholly unacceptable or
… to take ownership of the impact and remove confusion.
Although the dictionary has those meanings listed third:
3. regrettable or deplorable
… few people think of or hear this meaning when someone says: “That was unfortunate.”
People Skills Lesson – Be Clear & Caring
- Be clear about your remorse. Care about their feelings. Be accountable for the impact you had on others. It shows that despite your hurtful actions you want to re-secure the relationship.
- Conversely, trivializing the impact puts the relationship and trust completely at risk.
Before speaking, ask yourself which you would want to hear if someone hurt you? “Sorry, that was unfortunate” or “What I did was terrible – I’m very sorry.”
Professional and personal relationships are slowly built and quickly broken.
Even ONE word can make a big difference!
Question: What other words/phrases have you found break trust quickly?
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, workshops, keynotes, and DVDs that turn interaction obstacles into interpersonal success for customer service, teamwork, and leading change. Kate fills the gaps of diversity with business wins. See this site for workshops outlines and customer results.