Positive Positioning In Telephone And Text Message Communication

Positive Positioning In Telephone And Text Message Communication

Mark Twain observed that the difference between the right word and the wrong word is the difference between a fire and a fire fly. So when you speak to customers, suppliers, and co-workers on the phone or write to them in a text, commit yourself to using language that indicates you value them.

As an exercise, put yourself in the place of a message receiver and judge how you would react to the following alternative phrasings.

I don’t know vs. Let me make an inquiry and call you back.

We can’t do that vs. Let me tell you what we can do

Hang on a second vs. This might take 3-4 minutes. Do you want to hold or do you want to call me back?

• You’ll have to …vs. Here’s what we ask that you do and here’s how we will respond when you do

Can I put you on hold? I have somebody on my other line… I’ll have to call back. I have an important call on the other line vs. Can I call you back in a few minutes?

Who did you say your name was? vs. Would you please repeat your name?

Sorry I did not call you back yesterday; I was busy vs. Thank you for returning my call. I wanted to touch base with you about….

I called yesterday to see what you guys charge per hour vs. I called yesterday to find out what ABC charges per hour of on-site service.

A key to maintaining positive interpersonal relationships is shaping the language of your responses so they show respect to everyone who hears or reads them.

tclark administrator

Thomas Clark, PhD, President of CommuniSkills and Professor of Management at Xavier University, has been a writing and oral communication consultant for a wide variety of businesses including Procter & Gamble, “the business writing capital of the world,” where he has led over 300 business communication workshops. He has also taught workshops for other Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, Microsoft, Nestle, AK Steel, General Cable and Kellogg. He has published three books on business communication and one on career strategies. He has been honored with two Teacher of the Year awards at Xavier, and The US Small Business Administration has recognized him with three national awards for teaching excellence in the field of entrepreneurship. He earned his doctorate at Indiana University and is certified as an instructor in both Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability. Richard Zaunbrecher, BChE, MBARichard Zaunbrecher, BSChE, MBA, Vice President and Director of Communiskills’ Boston office, has a diverse background that allows him to understand and give constructive feedback on a broad range of business communication issues. He first learned sound business communication principles at Procter & Gamble, the business communication capital of the world. He has worked with CommuniSkills for 25 years and has taught both oral and written communication skills to a variety of businesses including Microsoft, Safeway, P&G dos Brazil, Gillette, AliCorp, Credit Suisse First Boston, Coca-Cola, Citibank, Viacom, Clorox, KPMG, General Electric, Union Central Insurance, Clarica, Allstate, and Prudential Insurance.

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