Want to save time in meetings?
Wish your emails were more concise?
Ever want to move a conversation along so you can focus on the next task?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to create a productive language pallet. Just like an artist has a variety of colors for their pallet we can create a language pallet that increases productivity through simple phrases.
If you want to keep a conversation progressing use a simple phrase ‘let’s move on’. These three powerful words are not confrontational and send a direct message to progress the conversation.
If you are a in a meeting and people are side tracked try my favorite phrase ‘for the sake of time’ and then you can combine it with ‘let’s move on’. This sends a subtle signal to attendees that time is precious and you have more agenda items to finalize.
In a meeting five minutes before finishing I like to conclude ‘in the five minutes we have left, let’s agree action items’. This is another subtle way to remind people of the time and to ensure the meeting has agreed action plans.
To avoid email ‘thank you’ back and forth clogging up your inbox, try this simple closing in your email signature ‘thank you in advance for your help/assistance’.
When someone calls your phone without an appointment try this simple greeting ‘Great to hear from you, what is on your agenda for our phone call today?’ or ‘How can I help you today?’ There is no need for small talk and this friendly greeting allows your caller to get right to the point of the conversation.
There are many factors that affect our communication and if you want to truly increase your productivity when speaking or emailing with someone, also consider generational communications. Kim Huggins is a thought leader in generational communications and the author of GENerate Performance. In her research she documented that regardless of the generation people were from they all preferred face-to-face communication with their boss (I found this quite surprising thinking maybe Gen X would prefer email or Gen Y prefer text) however we all want to be seen and heard.
Recently one of my attorney clients was sharing they had Gen Y interns doing data entry and they were frustrated that they were also texting while completing their work. The frustrated supervisor was certain that they were taking longer to finalize their work and assumed their error rate would be higher than their Gen X or Baby Boomer colleagues. The supervisor was requested to track their entry and error rate and do a comparison to other generations. Guess what happened, they not only were faster than their colleagues, the error rate was no different. We can’t always impose our ideas or expectations on communications however we can definitely accelerate conversations and actions with our language pallet.
Next time you are in a meeting, ready to send an email or about to answer your phone, take a moment to decide what productive language you will use to save you time today.
PS. Want more ways to manage your productivity at work; check out our new eBooks available here.
About Neen James
Neen James, MBA CSP, is the President/CEO of Neen James Communications, LLC. An international productivity expert and native born Aussie, Neen delivers engaging keynotes that have educated, and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles, whether at work or in life. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring to women on a variety of business issues and topics. To find out more about Neen, visit her at http://www.neenjames.com/.