Why do they not say these phrases? Because these are phrases the rest of the world uses. Any average and ordinary individual uses these. If you’re going to be professional and sound professional, then these are phrases that you must avoid. If your goal is to last long, 5, 10, 20 years in this profession, then avoid and get rid of them.
Verbal slip-ups often occur because we say things without knowledge of the subtle implications they may carry. Understanding these implications requires awareness and the ability to pick up on the emotions and experiences of other people.
This is a challenge because all people are different. You won’t understand someone until you focus ALL of your attention in his or her direction. The beauty of being aware is that a few simple adjustments to what you say can vastly improve your relationships with other people. And especially the prospects and customers that we talk to on a daily basis. To that end, there are 9 phrases that successful freight agents are careful to avoid in casual conversation and you are to avoid them at all costs.
- “You Look Tired.”
Tired people are incredibly unappealing. They have droopy eyes and messy hair. They have trouble concentrating, and they’re typically grouchy or downcast. Telling someone they look tired, especially when they’re not, implies all of the above and then some.
Say instead: “Is Everything Okay?”
Most people ask if someone is tired because they’re intending to be helpful (they want to know if the other person is generally OK). Instead of assuming someone else’s disposition, just ask. Then they’ll open up and share with you. More importantly, they’ll see you as concerned instead of rude.
- “Wow, You’ve Lost A Ton Of Weight!”
Once again, a well-meaning compliment creates the impression that you’re being critical. Telling someone that they’ve lost a lot of weight suggests that they used to look fat or unattractive.
Instead say: “Wow, You Look Fantastic!”
This one is an easy fix. Instead of comparing how they look now, to how they used to look, just compliment them for looking great. It takes the past right out of the picture.
- “You’re Too Good For Them Anyway.”
When someone severs ties with a relationship of any type, personal or professional, this comment implies they had bad taste and made a poor choice in the first place.
Instead say: “Their Loss!”
This provides the same enthusiastic support and optimism without any implied criticism.
- “You Always…” or “You Never…”
No one ‘always’ or ‘never’ does anything. People don’t see themselves as one-dimensional, so you shouldn’t attempt to define them as such. These phrases make people defensive and closed off to your message, which is a really bad thing because you likely use these phrases when you have something important to discuss.
Instead say: “It Seems Like You Do This Often.” or
“You Do This Often Enough For Me To Notice.”
Simply point out what the other person did that’s a problem for you, stick to the facts, and don’t exaggerate.
- “You Look Great For Your Age.”
Using “for your” as a qualifier always comes across as condescending and rude. No one wants to be smart for an athlete or in good shape relative to other people who are also knocking on death’s door. People simply want to be smart and fit.
Instead say: “You Look Great.”
This one is another easy fix. Genuine compliments don’t need qualifiers.
- “As I Said Before…”
We all forget things from time to time. This phrase makes it sound as if you’re insulted at having to repeat yourself, which is hard on the recipient (someone who is genuinely interested in hearing your perspective). Getting insulted over having to repeat yourself suggests that either you’re insecure or you think you’re better than everyone else (or both!). Few people who use this phrase actually feel this way.
Instead say: “Do You Remember What I Said Earlier About…”
When you say this, convey your message in a clearer and more interesting manner. This way they’ll better remember what you said.
- “Good Luck.”
This is a subtle one. It certainly isn’t the end of the world if you wish someone good luck, but you can do better because this phrase implies that they need luck to succeed.
Instead say: “I Know You Have What It Takes.”
This is better than wishing them luck because suggesting that they have the skills required to succeed provides a huge boost of confidence. You’ll stand out from everyone else who simply wishes them “luck.”
- “It’s Up To You.” or “Whatever You Want.”
While you may be indifferent to the question, your opinion is important to the person asking (or else he wouldn’t have asked you in the first place).
Instead say: “I Don’t Have A Strong Opinion Either Way,
But A Couple Things To Consider Are…”
When you offer an opinion (even without choosing a side), it shows that you care about the person that’s asking.
- “Well At Least I’ve Never ___.”
This phrase is an aggressive way to shift attention away from your mistake by pointing out an old, likely irrelevant mistake the other person made (and one you should have forgiven them for by now).
Instead say: “I Apologize For…”
Owning up to your mistake is the best way to bring the discussion to a more rational, calm place so that you can work things out. Admitting guilt is an amazing way to prevent escalation.
In everyday conversation, it’s the little things that make all the difference. Try these suggestions out, and you’ll be amazed at the positive responses you receive.