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Four Words You Hate to Say But People Love to Hear


Stashed in: LinkedIn, Respect, Listen!, Trust, Relationships

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"Can you help me?"

And then pause for a moment. Don't say anything else.

Instead, say what you can't do. Say, "I'm awful at PowerPoint and these slides look terrible." Say, "We absolutely have to ship this order by Tuesday and I have no idea how to make that happen." Say, "I'm lost and I can't find my hotel."

When you ask that way, several powerful things immediately happen... for the person you're asking:

One, you instantly convey respect. Without actually saying it, you've said, "You know more than I do." You've said, "You can do something I can't." You've said, "You have experience (or talents or something) that I don't have."

What you've said is, "I respect you." That level of regard is incredibly powerful -- and empowering.

Two, you instantly convey trust. You show vulnerability and admit to weakness.

What you've said is, "I trust you." That level of faith is incredibly powerful -- and empowering.

Three, you instantly convey you're willing to listen. You haven't tried to say exactly how people should help you. You give them the freedom to decide.

What you've said is, "You don't need to tell me what you think I want to hear. Please tell me what you think I should do." That level of freedom is incredibly powerful -- and empowering.

By showing you respect and trust other people, and by giving them the latitude to freely share their expertise or knowledge, you don't just get the help you think you want.

You might also get the help you really need.

I kept thinking it must be 3 words, but I was thinking from a woman's perspective.  This makes sense ;)

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