Sensitivity to Words

Being a salesman at heart, I am very sensitive to the words that people say – and the body language that they say it with – so that I can figure out what people really mean.

Along the way, I have found a few little phrases that people drop into their conversations that are very telling.

You judge for yourself and let me know if there are any others that “tip you off” or “bug” you like these affect me.

Let’s get started:

  1. “Trust me.”
  2. How many people in the course of your busy day tell you how honest they are being, how truthful they are being and how forthcoming they are being? Whenever I hear the words “Trust me,” I rephrase it and (sometimes out loud) say: “normally you are not honest, but this one particular time you are going to be.” That logic usually breaks this bad habit for good!

  3. Here’s another similar one: “I’ll be honest.”
  4. When I hear this one, I always think the same way as above – and sometimes say aloud, “normally you are not honest, but this particular time, you will be honest with me!” Get rid of this one from your vocabulary right away.

  5. I think.
  6. The second that I hear this one, I know that the person who utters this little “tell” lacks confidence and is skeptical of their own direction. For example, “I think that I want to get married.” Does that sound like something that would be said by someone who is confident and excited about one of the most significant decisions in their life?

  7. Right now.
  8. “Our company is the leader in this area right now.” To me, that means that in 5 minutes, it might be completely different. I have banker friends who tell me that their bank is one of the strongest in the nation right now. When I recently came back and told them that “right now” means that tomorrow it could crash, he concurred and told me that I am right: tomorrow it could all be different. If you don’t want to convey how tomorrow could be different, then don’t say “right now.”

  9. I’ll try.
  10. Go ahead – try to move your arm. Try all you want but the arm doesn’t move. It’s different than actually doing it.

If you have any common phrases like these that bug you, please send them my way. I’d like to circulate them so that we can eliminate a few of these phrases from the English language!

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Often dubbed a Growth Architect by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, advisor and faculty member of the iLearningGlobal community.