Presentation on theme: "Using Positive Language January 2007, Alex Righolt."— Presentation transcript:
Using Positive Language January 2007, Alex Righolt
Introduction Language is a very powerful tool. The way you express yourself will affect whether your message is received positively or negatively – or not at all. Even when you are conveying unpleasant news, the impact can be softened by the use of what we call positive language.
Introduction Here is an example of Negative language: “We can’t supply this printer before Friday” Note the negative word “can’t”.
Introduction We can easily turn this into a positive statement: “We can’t supply this printer before Friday” changes to a positive statement having the same meaning: “we can supply on Friday“.
Introduction In this presentation we are looking at ways you can communicate in a more positive way. Positive communication results in cooperation, rather than argument or confrontation. You can use positive language to project a helpful, positive image rather than a destructive negative one.
Introduction No-sayers don't always have negative attitudes. In many cases they simply use language that gives the impression of negativity. They have not learned to phrase their comments in more constructive, positive ways.
Introduction It is very easy to fall into the negative language pattern. Many of us do so without being aware of it, particularly in written communication.
Characteristics of positive and negative language Negative language often has the following characteristics: tells what cannot be done. has a subtle tone of blame. includes words like can't, won't, unable to, that tell the recipient what the sending agency cannot do. does not stress positive actions that would be appropriate, or positive consequences.
Characteristics of positive and negative language Positive phrasing and language have the following qualities: tells the recipient what can be done. suggests alternatives and choices available to the recipient. sounds helpful and encouraging rather than bureaucratic. stresses positive actions and positive consequences that can be anticipated.
Common negative language If you want to move to more positive communication, the first task is to identify and eliminate common negative phrasing. The following negative statements are quite common, and should be avoided whenever possible.
Common negative language Expressions that suggest carelessness: a) You neglected to specify... b) You failed to include... c) You overlooked enclosing...
Common Negative Language/Phrasing Phrases that suggest the person is lying: a) You claim that... b) You say that... c) You state that...
Common Negative Language/Phrasing Expressions that imply that the recipient is not too bright: a) We cannot see how you... b) We fail to understand... c) We are at a loss to know...
Common Negative Language/Phrasing Demanding phrases that imply coercion/pressure: a) You should... b) You ought to... c) You must... d) We must ask you to... e) We must insist...
Common Negative Language/Phrasing Phrases that might be interpreted as sarcastic or patronizing: a) No doubt... b) We will thank you to... c) You understand, of course... d) Please respond soon...
Positive Phrasing If you are going to eliminate negative phrases, you will need to replace them with more positive ways of conveying the same information. Following are just a few examples of positive phrasing.
Positive Phrasing If you can send us [whatever], we can complete the process for you. The information we have suggests that you have a different viewpoint on this issue. Let me explain our perspective. Might we suggest that you [suggestion]. One option open to you is [option]. We can help you to [whatever] if you can send us [whatever].
Positive Phrasing Be sure your messages include positive words like these, used sincerely: value benefit enjoy pleasure pleased inspire enhance please thank you appreciate profit feel free saving honour gain help you assist you happy satisfied grateful welcome glad admire like delighted generous
Changing negative phrases into positive ones I don’t know
Changing negative phrases into positive ones I don’t knowI have to find out for you.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones No
Changing negative phrases into positive ones NoI'm sorry! I wish I could! Unfortunately, I have to say no.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones You didn't leave your phone number, so I couldn't call you back.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones You didn't leave your phone number, so I couldn't call you back. Please leave your phone number, and I will call you right away.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones Supplies are limited, so any delays in ordering might result in unfulfilled orders.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones Supplies are limited, so any delays in ordering might result in unfulfilled orders. Supplies are limited. Order now to reserve copies for your department.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones We regret to inform you that we cannot process your application to register your business name, since you have neglected to provide sufficient information. Please complete ALL sections of the attached form and return it to us.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones We regret to inform you that we cannot process your credit application, since you have neglected to provide sufficient information. Please complete ALL sections of the attached form and return it to us. Congratulations on your new business. To process your credit application, we need some additional information. If you return the attached form, with highlighted areas filled in, we will be able to process your credit application within one week. We wish you success in your new endeavor.
Changing negative phrases into positive ones but it’s very expensive
Changing negative phrases into positive ones but it’s very expensive Name the price, the customer should decide if its VERY expensive for him