As human beings we use the spoken word to communicate with others in ways that the written word simply cannot convey. Tone, inflection, and volume are just some of the elements that add to, or take away from, the impact our words have on a listener. But the exact words that are chosen have just as much importance, and can often mean the difference between getting what you want, and getting nothing. Words Matter.
I’ve held a theory for a long time that in most situations, especially where you want something, it is critical to know the “Magic Words” that will get you what you want or need. Beyond “please” and “thank-you” – or even “open sesame” though – these words can all be defined as effective means for bringing about a desired result.
In business we know that some people are simply more successful than others in getting what they want out of life and business. So what are the secrets that they practice to select and then weave the right words into story form? And how can you find the right words to do the same thing?
Most people think they know how to talk about themselves and their business, but it is only by choosing carefully the right Magic Words, and then building them into stories, introductions, and conversations we use everyday that we will connect, relate, and invest in the relationships and network around us.
Many years ago I was on a flight back from London on British Airways. After the drinks service, I saw the flight attendants coming down the aisle to collect “used service items” (three words that lack magic). One of them seemed to be frustrated, moving very slowly along, trying to get the attention of everyone in his section one at a time. I noticed he was naming all of the things he was collecting: “Cups? Newspapers? Magazines? Napkins?” etc. And of course nobody was paying any attention to him, which just frustrated him more. Meanwhile, on the other aisle another attendant had figured out that she only needed two Magic Words to get exactly what she wanted – and fast! Aware that she had both British and American passengers onboard, and to avoid any confusion as to what she was collecting, she would humorously turn back and forth to the passengers, first saying in a beautiful, lilting accent for the English passengers “rubbish?” And then turning to say in a nasally American accent, with a very long ‘a’- “traaash?” No matter who you were, you knew exactly what she was doing, and it caused passengers to sit up, pay attention, laugh, poke their seat mates so they could hear and laugh too, and then get her exactly what she needed.
So where do you find the Magic Words you need to build your Network?