The single phrase that could be sabotaging your relationships

The single phrase that could be sabotaging your relationships

It rolls off your tongue like an easy american ‘r’. But, this one sentence may be sabotaging your relationships.

So, what is it? I don’t know.

No, seriously. It’s “I don’t know.”

Its one of the most common most responses when someone asks you for information. It takes no effort, no time and no energy to let every question posed to you to slide by with a simple – “I don’t know.”

This easy phrase could be the reason behind people being unhelpful towards you or steering clear of you when they need help.

So, maybe we can re-think our approach.

When someone asks you a question – HIT PAUSE. Before you let out the dreaded 3 letter phrase – think for a moment about why they are asking you. Obviously – they are looking for a little help to get to their ultimate goal.

If you do not know the answer, and its ok not to – you can still help in some ways. [If they knew where to get the information, they probably wouldn’t be wasting their time asking you.]

Let’s take an example.

You are at your office – and your colleague comes to you if you know where the boss is.

Option 1: You can say: I don’t know.

Your colleague’s pursuit of information has stopped dead in its tracks. They have hit a dead end, and will have to look somewhere else for the information they are looking for – with no help from you.

Option 2: You can say: I’m not sure, but I saw him two hours ago leaving the office with xyz. Maybe she would have a better idea.

See, here – you still may not have the information – but at least you helped in some way. The person who came to you will be grateful that you took a moment of your time to help in some way.

Option 2 requires you to pause and more importantly to think. But going with option 2 can really change your relationships. People will not only come to you more often, but will be more helpful when you go to them.

Here are some phrases that can help you drop the dreaded phrase:

1. I’m not sure but …. [fill in the information that could be helpful]
2. Hang on a second, I can find out for you.
3. I think xyz would know the answer to your question.
4. Why don’t you try looking [here] for the answer.

Try it out, and let me know if you put more smiles on faces with your new approach!

Advertisements

Coming out of your Closet

Yesterday, I needed to have a difficult conversation with a friend. I didn’t want to bring up the topic. My hands were tremulous and my stomach was turning over – inside out and outside in.

Finally after two hours of figuring out how to bring it up – I finally picked up the phone and dialed the number.

Well, lucky me – he responded with “hey, I’m in a meeting. I’ll call you back.”

Great. So much for courage. Anyway – over the next 40 min – we texted; and I bravely did the most difficult thing. I was fully and completely honest. And to my surprise – there was no hurt, no anger, no walls – there was honesty coming right back at me.

I loved it. Are all difficult conversations – as simple? Is it in the way we deal with them?

I am so inspired. I have always heard my mom quoting Warren Buffet – “Honesty is an expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people.”

Maybe being honest will let me know who should be a part of my life – and who shouldn’t. Shouldn’t the closest people around you deserve to see the side of you with no makeup, no walls and no fears?

I know all tough conversations are not easy. And not all of them have good endings – but like Ash Beckham says – A closet is no place for a human being.

But before you come out – you need to know when you are trapped inside. Some great indicators are:

1. A feeling of impending doom
2. Knots in your stomach
3. Fear of confrontation

If something is scaring you – talk about it, and talk about it today. Have that conversation. Face the facts. It will be tough. It will be trying. It will be soul bearing. But – So What?

At least you will know: where you stand, that you are loved for who you really are, or that someone doesn’t deserve to be in your life – because they just don’t care.

It may be difficult but you will come out of it feeling – a true sense of power. Power over your choices and your future.

I hope you are as inspired as I am – to come out of your closet!

Perils of a limited vocabulary

Perils of a limited vocabulary

I met someone the other day. He had such great command over English. It sounded as though every word was carefully chosen to express his ideas, beliefs and visions.

It suddenly got me thinking. Does my vocabulary match up?

I started to listen to myself – beautiful, nice, awesome. The same words repeated over and over again till the held no more meaning. Not only was I speaking in vague, overused words – but I was THINKING in them too.

How long had it been since I learned a new word? How long has it been since I paused reading to look up a word?

Suddenly scared : I realized that I haven’t been doing much to master my beloved medium for the art we call communication.

Are you sailing in the same boat as me? Well, if you are – there are things we can and should do to rectify this problem.

1. READ.

Yes. I read too! But, I have noticed – I don’t pick up books where I need to look up 10 definitions on a page, even 3 or 4 will put me off. I have become lazy. Lethargic. [And my newly learned word – languid.]

Go back to the classics. They used beautiful language. Go back to the authors who have been talked about for ages and decades. They are filled with the most poetic usage of language.

2. LOOK IT UP

If you see or hear a word that you “kind of know the meaning of,” please look it up. Learning the real meaning will give you the confidence to use it in your daily language.

I just realized – there is something I really love about English. We have lots of synonyms but they all mean slightly different things.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the word success- here are the synonyms:

accomplishment, achievement, prosperity, fame, happiness.

All so different right – nothing with the ring, meaning and intrinsic joy of the word success.

3. USE YOUR NEW WORD

Most of the time – we read, learn and forget. The more you use your new word – the more it gets cemented. The more it will come in handy when you are looking for the right word to express yourself.

Soon, these out-of-your-ordinary words will become a part of your daily speech – and you will be able to think and speak with crystal clear precision.

Coming back, I don’t think this man knew – just how much impact his words had on me. I am impressed. I’m thinking. I’m inspired. I’m looking up and learning new words. I feel like a better person. Because of that one conversation – and he was just being himself.

If we keep up these 3 steps – we can use the seductive power of our slightly better than decent vocabularies soon!

Good luck!

Thursday Inspiration

Thursday Inspiration

Thursdays are special days for me. Just one big fat full productive day left before my all time favorite Fridays.

Anyhow, today, let’s be unstoppable. Courageous. And in love with life and the people in it.

All the things you do every day make the world go around. The habits you create and the things you do on Thursdays [and other days too] define your life. The biggest things were created by taking baby steps on uneventful Tuesdays, Thursdays and late Sunday nights.

Fight for the things you believe in. Be productive. By the end of the day, we will be one step closer to making all our dreams come true.

Happy Thursdays!