My compliments to you on your phone etiquette tip in last week’s newsletter. I did share it with my team and they had several other phrases or words that are abused as well. Do you have any other “favorites” in the not to use category? (Marvin B., VP of Sales & Service Organization, Columbia, MO)

Funny you should ask that Marvin, because I am also very opinionated about several other statements or repetitive words that I would love to share and here they are;

1. OKAY: We seem to overuse the word Okay to gain confirmation, but why not just ask if the person understands. A perfect example of this is the television show COPS. They wrestle the bad guy/gal to the ground then they say, “You’re under arrest, OKAY?” OR I’m going to put the handcuffs on you, OKAY? Are you kidding me? Hell no it’s not OKAY!!! 
2. LET ME BE PERFECTLY HONEST: As opposed to what? The fact that you’ve been perfectly dishonest and are now having guilt pangs and want to come clean? Are you kidding?
3. BASICALLY: Next to Okay, this is probably one of the most misused words in the English language. Example; “…how will this machine help me improve production?” Okay well basically it’s pretty and works hard! Are you kidding me? Hell no it’s no okay I didn’t ask about basically I asked what it can do for me!
4. ACTUALLY: “….how does this compare to XYZ?” Actually it is better because it’s pretty and works hard. Are you kidding me? Why not just answer the question? Why does it need to be front run by “actually?”
5. TYPICALLY: Are you saying that I’m just TYPICAL and not SPECIAL? Do you really think I don’t understand that are talking to me in generalities?
6. TRUTH BE KNOWN: I love this one. What are you really saying? The truth is a deep dark secret that can’t be disclosed or that I don’t tell the truth so maybe if you find out the truth the situation will be different. Are you kidding me?

There is little doubt I can type out all kinds of statements that keep you in control and don’t use the 6 examples above to soften the blow. As I stated last week, stick to business and stick to professionalism. You don’t have to soft soap a conversation with hollow words. Present statements that are filled with authority, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, compassion and dedication. The results WILL amaze you.

Actually if the truth be known and let me be perfectly honest with you basically telling you typically how this all works. Okay?

NEXT WEEK: The importance of Body Language and LISTENING to all the sounds and signs.

Have a tremendous week and as always, call or write if I can be of assistance. Your comments, concerns or questions are always welcome. Thank you for your readership.