Of Your Patients, Health Care Staff, Colleagues & Bosses
Do You Know Them? Do You Use Them?
Some Answers – Plus a Quiz for You
The power of words lies in their capacity to change behavior. That means words are powerful tools to persuade, gain support and for you to be acknowledged as capable and competent. Of course, the extended benefit is to enhance the perceived value of your health care facility as well.
We’ll start with the proven, persuasive power of just one word … followed by 189 more!
Why should you read on? Health care professionals who use powerful words in speech or writing excel over those who do not … in management, patient relationship building and community credibility.
Success with a Single Word
Let’s tackle how a single word was proven to have an awesome influence on gaining personal advantage by persuading strangers to let you cut ahead in line. This startling outcome was the result of an experiment by social psychologist Ellen Langer.
Langer’s venues for her research were several shops that offered self-service photocopying. At each location, she asked the people waiting in line to make copies if she could cut ahead of them. Important: Langer crafted three distinctive phrases to make her request:
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” When she asked it this way, 60 percent of the people in line agreed.
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” This time, 94 percent of the people she asked agreed. The only substantive difference from her first attempt was the word “because.”
- Now hold on for gambit number three. In a few instances, she said, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” Kind of a silly statement, as everyone in line was there to make copies. Yet an astounding 93 percent of those she asked agreed to let her go first.
Amazing proof of the power of a single word to persuade … because.
Our Education and Our Communication Channels
Now let’s add another dozen words with incredible powers of persuasion. As a preface to revealing the words, we’ll quickly review our lopsided education when it comes to how we were taught in the use of the four principal communication channels. (Non-verbal communication is purposely ignored for the moment.)
How many times have you heard (from your boss, parent, significant other), “What we have here is a failure to communicate”?
No wonder! One startling reason is that we are not taught to communicate in proportion to the channels we use. Take a look.
See what I mean. Think back on your education for a reality check.
A Bouquet of Power Words
As promised, here are a dozen words that could change your life and maximize your communication effectiveness with patients, your staff, colleagues and your boss. Use the twelve words that a Yale University study found to be the most persuasive and that people responded positively to the most.
The twelve power words revealed in the study are:
You, Save, Results, Health, Love, Proven, Money, New, Easy, Safety, Discovery, Guaranteed.
An Example to Boost Comprehension
So how can your discovery of these proven new power words generate results, make you more money, save you time and provide safety in knowing that you are an accomplished communicator? Easy! Use them in your emails, on the phone, face-to-face, in resumes and correspondence. You will love the results – guaranteed. Plus, expect positive responses which are always a boost to our emotional health and well-being.
Now for words that weaken your communications by diluting any real meaning, and often said to not offend someone or run the risk of being contradicted. People using non-committal words are easily spotted. Their communications are suspect and their integrity often questioned as it frequently appears they are leaving themselves a way out if criticized or faced with an opposing point of view. Here are a few examples … you’ll think of many more. Can’t, Maybe, Should, Someday, Might …
Choose to be a Superior Communicator
So, like most things in life … your choice. Will it be the path of superior communication to maximize your success … or the rocky road of half-truths and never taking a stand? I think I can guess your preference. Now fulfill that as your choice!
Bonus, as Promised: Want another 189 words with the power to persuade. Take a look at this article by Buffer’s Kevan Lee – Big List of 189 Words That Convert.