As I told you before

As I told you before

As I told you before

I could be more WOKE, if I’m honest. Today’s generation are far more aware than I (as my son lets me know regularly), but I try hard. However, one thing does not pass me by is that I am highly attuned to arrogance in language.

So, let me outline some words and phrases that we might be well-advised to avoid.

Over the long weekend, I was listening to a political program, and one of the leaders being interviewed stated, “As I told you before”.

This is not “As I mentioned earlier” to reiterate a point, but “as I TOLD you before,” as if we are supposed to be hanging on every word. And It isn’t just the phrase, it’s the tone with which it is said. If I try to pick out the problem I would say it is when it is said as a statement, with a downwards inflection at the end of the sentence.

I feel my blood boil every time I hear it. Am I alone? The problem is the downward inflection and the use of the word ‘told’.

Arrogance is the death of communication. In the past, we strictly tolerated power structures; we cowered to arrogance and simply copped the subtle put-down of others. People would push you over figuratively and even literally and get away with it (you with me?).

If someone says, “I told you”, you would not be wrong to say, “You might have told me, but I didn’t hear”. It all comes back to the philosophical question, ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear, does it really make a noise.’ (I love that question. Sorry for repeating it and nauseum in my posts)

Here are some words you can avoid.

1. The use of the word ‘I’ turns any statement into sympathy as opposed to empathy.

2. Instead of “I can hear you say. . .”

    say, “Sounds like . . .”

Instead of “I can see you are. . .”

say, “Looks like . . .”

3. ‘Tell’ and ‘talk’ are two words we use chronically in presentations. I hear it every day in a         thousand different ways. Both these words express an intention for one-way                           communication, which is not positive. Replace it with ‘discover’, ‘share’ or ‘look at’.

4. ‘As I told you before,’ with a downward inflection is arrogant and not effective.                        Just leave it out.

Good luck with breaking the habits. They are hard to recognise. Perhaps organise the equivalent of a swear jar. i.e. Put a notional coin in every time you say these words.

Let me hear your thoughts.

Love Dr Louise Mahler

What I’ve been up to…

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About Me

Dr Louise Mahler is a body language expert. With a focus on study of the mind-body relationship and business applications; providing practical inspiring improvement to global leaders.

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