It's not just what you say, it's how you say it

Hello there!  I’m Nico Trimoff, manager of transcription and accessibility services at
Today, I have a very sobering article to share with you; all about how one’s words can affect one’s message.  I hope you find this article useful.
Have a great day.
It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it

From arrogance to excessive jargon, career consultant Barbara Moses lists
nine poor communication habits to avoid
Barbara Moses
Someone recently sent me an e-mail about some work she had done. At least I
think that was what it was about.
With seven acronyms in a couple of paragraphs, it had as much meaning as
alphabet soup. She wrapped up by saying that I looked familiar, and asked if
I had met her (at another acronym conference).
I frequently receive such incomprehensible notes. I always wonder if the
senders have any idea of how ridiculous they sound, and how their
communication style seriously undermines how they are seen by others.
Some reflect underlying personality deficiencies, such as narcissism,
arrogance, insecurity or laziness. Others are simply irritating quirks.
Regardless, they all interfere with an individual’s communication
Whether written or oral, here are some of the more egregious types of
Communication sins. If you see yourself committing them, consider the
suggestions for changing how you communicate.
Narcissistic communicators not only see everything from their own point of
view, they believe that everything about that point of view and who they are
is endlessly fascinating.
The main function of an audience is to mirror how great the narcissist is.
This is the office bore who, when telling a story to co-workers, thinks that
20 years of week-by-week background is necessary to really understand what
he or she is saying.
Or the egomaniac, who relays, word for word, an entire conversation and then
repeats all the clever things he or she said.
Or the people who think they are so endlessly fascinating that you must
remember them after meeting them at a conference 15 years before.
Narcissists rarely see themselves. But if you can, take note: What enthralls
you – you – is not particularly enthralling to others. Unless you are one of
the rare charming raconteurs, stories about how accomplished and admired you
are can be terminally boring.
Give your co-workers some breathing room. Ask something about them. And get
to the point quickly.
Arrogant communicators see interpersonal interactions as a kind of
competitive sport. The winner? The person who inflates his or her own ego by
diminishing that of others. They usually keep their cards close to the
chest, waiting for you to make an idiot of yourself. For example, when you
offer an opinion, the person says, in a Voice dripping with patronizing
indulgence, “That’s an interesting point of view.” What you hear: “That’s
the most incredibly stupid thing anyone has ever said.”
Sometimes the psychological underpinning of arrogant communication is
arrogance. But sometimes it is actually shyness.
If you think people experience you as arrogant, and you don’t actually
believe yourself to be superior but are simply socially awkward, soften how
people see you.
Compliment co-workers. Ask them questions about their work. Act like what
they say is important.
Status seekers
They come in a variety: Name droppers need to be seen as a Very Important
Person by their association with Very Important People.
Achievement droppers like to tell you who they are by a list of all their
recent accomplishments, quantified: “My unit increased profitability 500 per
cent last quarter.” Or “my stock portfolio soared 1,000 per cent.”
Both are insecure – name-droppers searching are for cachet by association;
 achievement-droppers want recognition of their competence. Unfortunately,
both do the opposite of what they intended: They don’t impress. Rather  than
assume people care about who you know or your  business coups,share
something about who you are, or an interesting life experience. Make a
Jargon addiction
The people who pepper all conversation with professional terminology also
typically have many insecurities.
They are really saying, “Look at how smart I am.” Or, “Look at what
exclusive club I belong to that you don’t.”
The alienating language usually backfires. Rather than thinking, “My, how
clever you are because you use five-syllable words rarely spoken in everyday
English,” I always think, “If you were really clever, you would be able to
translate this professional concept into words my mother would have
Simplify your language and your audience may understand you better, and be
more interested in what you have to say.
Adjective impairment
One of my clients was delighted when the shy staff member she had coached
delivered a highly poised presentation. Unfortunately, my  client didn’t
relay her delight in a very motivating way: Instead of saying how great it
was, she merely said it was fine.
The adjective-deprived use language so flat and matter-of- fact that you
have little idea what the communicator really thinks about something. And
such neutral language is not very inspiring.
On the flipside are those who go too far, describing everything as cool,
fabulous, awesome or amazing – discounting the value of anything that really
is worthy of that description.
Adjective deprivation is easy to fix: Use fulsome words, and give emotive
To remedy adjective overuse, be selective in what you describe as being
awesome, and use adjectives appropriate to the situation. Not everything
requires a modifier.
Soft speaking
Whether, as some psychologists suggest, speaking in a quiet voice is a sign
that someone is manipulative and trying to get more power in a conversation,
or simply that the communicator has weak vocal chords, the effect is the
same: The listener will stop listening or trying to understand.
Raise your voice if you are constantly being asked to repeat yourself or see
that your listener practically has his or her ear on your lips.
Speaking verrry slooowly
These people, most often older workers, talk very deliberately. The problem
is that by the time they get to the point, their audience has often drifted
Do people sometimes finish your sentences for you? When you look at someone
you are talking to, are his or her eyes glazed over? If you answered yes,
you may need to speed it up if you want your audience to hear what you have
to say.
Missing the point
My friends say the worst insult I can level is to describe someone as
“concrete.” Here’s an example. You lead into a brilliant solution you’ve
come up with by way of a brief anecdote about bumping into someone in the
hall. When you are finished your clever analysis, your listener asks: “Where
in the hall did you bump into her?”
If you absolutely must ask a question that shows you completely missed the
point, take a lesson from my husband who, after many years of training, has
finally learned to acknowledge when he focuses on the tangential instead of
the gist. Banality
Whenever I get together with one acquaintance, he peppers me with banal
questions, such as which hotel chain I prefer to stay in or on what floor.
He’s not interested in the answers – and why should he be? He’s just trying
to make a connection, but I always feel he’s taken one Dale Carnegie course
too many.
The key to making a connection is to be genuine. Ask an interesting
question. If you don’t have one, try silence.
Barbara Moses, PhD, is a speaker, organizational career management
consultant and the author of What Next? Find the Work That’s Right For You.

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About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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