A “You” message – Counter Productive Patterns of Speech

Do you ever notice that when you try to get somebody’s attention to tell them how their behavior bothers you, you tell them how they are? You say, “You’re thoughtless,” “You’re inconsiderate”, “You’re a jerk.” Well even if you are right, you are going to get defensiveness from that person. Suppose you really want to get their attention and want them to change their behavior. Instead of saying, “You’re thoughtless, which is called a “you message,” suppose you say, “I have trouble with your behavior.” It’s called an “I” message. So replace those “you” messages with “I” messages. So instead of saying, “You’re a jerk,” “You’re thoughtless,” “You’re inconsiderate.” You would say, “I have trouble with your behavior, which by the way appears to be very jerk-like.” When you do it that way, you are going to get much more receptiveness with a lot less defensiveness.

Speaking in the Second Person – Counter-productive Patterns of Speech

Continuing on the subject of counter productive patterns of speech, I want to talk about speaking in the second person when you are talking about yourself.  Most people do it out of habit.  Instead of using the pronoun “I” when you are talking about your own experience, you actually use the pronoun “you.”  Examine what this would be like if I were to say to you, “well, you know when you get into the studio to do a recording, well you have to do a lot of takes and you feel kind of frustrated,” or I could say, “when I go into the studio, I record a lot of takes and sometimes it’s frustrating and then I hit it and it really works well.”  So what is the message?  The message is, when you are talking about yourself, speak in the first person, it is more genuine and received better.  

The Self-Discount — Counter-productive Patterns of Speech

One of the most common habits that people have is they do a self-discount. The self-discount is where you actually water-down your perspective before you even announce it. It’s like saying “well, I’m not very educated about this,” or “I don’t know much about it, but here we go.” It’s like saying, “I’m lucky to be breathing.” So instead of watering it down, how about you actually promote it. Instead of saying, “I’m not very educated about this,” simply say, “Well, from my perspective, here are my thoughts.” You are going to get more attention from people when you actually promote your idea rather than apologize for it. So stop watering it down, it’ll make a difference.

Counter-productive Patterns of Speech

These are habits you have, the way you speak that is often a set-up for a let-down; you shoot yourself in the foot. One that comes to mind is called “putting your present intentions in the past tense”. What that means is you want to do something but you put it in the past tense that sounds like you wanted to do it. People will say, “I wanted to ask you,” “what I wanted to say was,” “I was getting ready to say.” When people say to me, “I wanted to ask you”. I often respond , “well, do you still want to ask me?” Because it is curious, if you say “I wanted to ask you, …” it sounds like you don’t anymore. So what you want to do is take the present intentions and put it in the present tense. So instead of saying “I just wanted to ask you …” say, “I want to ask you …” It makes a BIG difference and you have a lot more power.

Five Basic Steps to Success

Here are the five basic steps to do well at anything. If you remember these five steps you are going to really be successful at anything, in any context. They are:
      1. Show up on time – be there on time.
      2. Be nice to people – show some grace, some manners and some appreciation.
      3. Do what you say you will do – make sure you are going to deliver.
      4. Deliver more than you promise – dazzle them with something more than what’s expected.
      5. Do it with energy and passion.

 When you do those five things you’ll be struck to see how employable you’ll be; how successful you are, and how the money rolls in.

Do It with Energy and Passion

If you are going to do something, do it like you are really excited. When you actually attach energy and passion to something then all your pistons start firing and you dazzle everybody. Enthusiasm is a very infectious quality and the more enthusiastic you are about something, the more you are going to be attracting people who want to hire you and keep you employed. Therefore, do it with energy and passion, you’ll get everybody’s attention and you’ll have a great time at the same time.

Deliver More Than You Promise

When you deliver more than you promise people are pleasantly surprised. It’s like a waiter at a restaurant who delivers outstanding service, and you want to tip him because you are thrilled and surprised that they did so well. So the notion is, if you promise to do X, deliver 5X or 10X and people will be touched and impressed and they will think that you are differentiated from the pack, which is exactly what you want. So dazzle them and deliver more than you promise.

Follow Through

Do what you say you are going to do, follow through on what you promise. I am actually dazzled when somebody says they are going to do something and they actually do it. It suggests that you have credibility. It suggests you can be counted on. It suggests you are going to go the extra mile and it somehow tells people you are going to be different than everybody else. Therefore, if you say you are going to have the report in on Monday at nine, have the report in on Monday at nine or tell people you are going to be late. Do what you say you are going to do and your credibility goes through the roof. It’s absolutely wonderful and you are going to be enormously successful.

Be Nice to People

Be nice to people. Show some manners. Show some grace. Send a thank you note. Show appreciation. Show the fact that your mother taught you the manners necessary to do well. It’s really remarkable when you are nice to people you are going to get more mileage. It’s like bringing more honey to the table generally gets more honey in return. So, if you want to be successful, show your manners; show your grace; show your appreciation. Be nice to people AND people will be nice to you in return. Its funny how that works… be nice to people.

Show Up on Time

Do you want to be successful? Most everybody does, it’s just that most people often forget some of the basic requirements to be successful at anything. If you want to be employed, you always want to do well and you always want to have people wanting you. Then follow the success formula and step number one is Show up on Time. Most people have trouble with the concept of showing up on time, particularly people who are chronically unemployed. So, what do you do? You make sure that you show up. If you say you are going to be there on Tuesday at 8:00, be there on Tuesday at 8:00. If you show up on time you get everybody’s attention, to suggest you’re committed, you’re dedicated, you’re going to pay the freight necessary to do well, and you are dazzling people because most people are surprised if you actually show up on time.