7 Words Your Boss Wants To Hear

What I know for sure is that people like certainty.  When someone steps up and says an assertive “Yes” to an idea or an opportunity there’s often a palpable sigh of relief.  

There are so many ways to say something and every way means something different to your listener as you say it. 

Imagine you’re in a meeting and someone asks if anyone is able to take on a new project or put some figures together.  You think to yourself, ‘I could probably do that’ but you may sit on that thought and say nothing and wait for someone else to offer or you may put yourself forward.  The trick here is, if you do decide to step up and offer, it’s how you put yourself forward.

To use assertive, positive language when you’re going about your business sends a message, very clearly, to those around you that you’re someone who gets on with things and who can be trusted to do things.

A lot of people struggle with the difference between coming across as aggressive instead of assertive.  Assertive is ‘self-confident, self-assured, firm’ and aggressive ‘hostile, belligerent, forceful’ and there’s a different energy about the two, of course there is.

As a savvy communicator, you’re going to be far more effective if you come across as clear, firm and self-confident as you go about your business, rather than belligerent or, almost worse, wishy-washy using indecisive language. It casts doubt.

Say ‘Yes’ before you’re ready is about trusting yourself and working out the details as you go.  Not waiting until you know everything.  By then, normally, someone else has jumped in and you’re still getting ready to get ready.

You could offer to help on this new project in so many ways and depending on how you say it, your message lands differently:

  • ‘I suppose I could do it’ – I suppose meaning I might be able to, if pushed.  I could meaning I can, but I’m not saying I will
  • ‘I might have some capacity to do it’ – might doesn’t mean to say I will
  • ‘I’ve got enough on my plate’ – unhelpful, defensive, bordering on stroppy
  • ‘I’ll try to do it’ – I might be able to do it but I’m not really sure I’ll be able to

Or – here’s the magic phrase…

  • ‘Leave it with me.  I’ll do it.’ – I’m able to do it and I will do it and I’m on it.

We all know which one of those simple phrases gives the most reassurance, gives the most credibility and which one you’d want to hear if you were asking for help.  There’s a completely different energy about the last phrase – you can feel that the person is saying I’m capable and certain. 

Being more assertive as you respond positions you with other people as someone who’s confident of their abilities, someone who can get things done, put forward for interesting projects, promotions, and then gets promoted.

Those 7 words ‘Leave it with me.  I’ll do it’ will raise your game.

Hedging your bets with ‘might be able to’ will only put doubt in other people’s minds about whether you will or won’t and whether you’re capable.

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