What a difference a few words can make.  Here’s a sampling from my emails this week:

Sample #1

Person A: “I have to go to something very important that is at the same time as our planned meeting, so I’m sorry but I won’t be there.”

Person B in response: “Shall the rest of us meet or should we reschedule?”

Person A simply stopped the action in its tracks. Person B, smartly, generated new action with her simple question. We agreed to reschedule and Person B will get that ball rolling.

Are you like Person A or Person B?

Sample #2

Person A: “This looks good Susan. We’ll get back to you.”

Person B: “This looks good, Susan. We’re looking forward to working with you. I’ll call you this afternoon at 4 to discuss the details.”

Person A told me absolutely nothing. If he wasn’t ready to commit, he should have said something like “Thank you, it looks like just what we are looking for. We’re meeting today at 3 to decide whether or not to go forward. I will get back to you at 4.”

Are you like Person A or Person B?

Be like Person B: Be as specific as possible and commit to actions you will take a certain times.

Do you know the phrase “lip service”? It means saying something that seems to have meaning but really doesn’t. Effective communication is not lip-service, it is specific, forward looking and action oriented.

Become know for your effective communication, not lip-service.