Make Strong Statements

SurprisedWhen we’re leading a conference call, the only way to convey information to our participants is through our voice and tone of voice–and in a limited timeframe at that.  That’s why I’d like to share some strong statements; powerful phrases that convey much more than most other two to ten word combinations.

I remember the first time a boss made a strong statement to me.  I was fifteen and working my first job in a retail store in the mall.  I had asked my seemingly omniscient boss what I thought was a very important question—ah, youth.  He thought for a moment, looked me right in the eyes, and said,

“I don’t know.”

I didn’t think about it at the time, and I only remember the experience now because of a post on the Eloquent Woman blog about six strong statements.  It was a simple answer to a naïve question, yet those three words shocked me.  Because of what I read in the blog post, I understand now that my reaction was elevated to fit this person’s elevated status, (elevated to me anyway).

“I don’t know” is especially strong in a superior because it reveals their honesty and humility.  The other statement in the Eloquent Woman’s list that scales with rank or importance is “I’d like to hear what you have to say.”

The six statements are:

I don’t know.
I disagree.
I agree.
I’m surprised.
I’m sorry.
I’d like to hear what you have to say.

Of the six, the strong statement that surprised me by its inclusion was—ironically—”I’m surprised.”  I wouldn’t have thought of that as being strong, and as phrases go, it really isn’t.  What does make it strong is how surprises in general make people sit up and take notice.  As in:

  • Something surprising is usually interesting
  • Would I be surprised as well?
  • Birthday surprise
  • Meatloaf surprise

Surprises are different from the other life experiences; they’re unique.  Well, I suppose they’d have to be.  Otherwise they wouldn’t be surprises, right?

I agree with this list of strong statements, especially for conference calls when you have to convey a lot in a short amount of time.

Which one do you like best?