As one of your competencies is communication and your responsibility to train CS, words can sometimes carry weight that was unintended. When communicating with others, take special care to choose the right words to get your point across. Here are some words and phrases to avoid:
You – While it’s ok to use this in most cases, when used in a negative context it can really do damage.
Example: You were late. Better: It’s important that everyone shows up on time.
But – When you use the word “but,” it tends to negate anything positive that was just said.
Example: Yes, but… Better: Yes, and… Using “and” is a way of disagreeing without being disagreeable.
Always and Never – Absolutes are rarely the case.
Example: You’re always late. Better: You’ve been late a lot lately.
Should have – This phrase implies that someone made a poor choice and is a negative phrase.
Example: You should have done this. Better: Perhaps this would have worked better.
Can’t – Implying that something is impossible or cannot be done is a very negative way of framing things.
Example: He can’t do it. Better: He may be better suited to another task.
Unfortunately – This word automatically casts a negative light on a situation. Instead, use “as it turns out.”
Example: We would like to, but unfortunately we have plans. Better: We would like to, but as it turns out we already have plans.
Remember, communication is key.
Mario Silva, HRSC
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Anthony Robbins