real time upgrade #2

Greetings, oh loyal and lovely words(r)matter followers.

I borrowed today's example from a status update a colleague posted on Facebook.  I've modified the posting ever-so-slightly out of respect for those mentioned in said post.  

If you haven't checked out (Marketing Coach X's) new (product she's selling) - you will want to contact her...

The opening caveat:  "If you haven't..."  suggests that if you have, then there's no reason to read further, which wunconsciously discounts plenty of potential clients.  Moreso, it's not relevant - it's a space filler, time waster.  She's stalling.  With two minute elevator pitches shrinking down to 90 second blocks of available attention, with Tweets capping our updates at 140 characters, we have less and less time to land our message.  As such, we are well-served with concise, deliberate brevity, such that our every word is consciously chosen for a very specific purpose: to deliver our message with absolute efficiency, potency and grace.

Let's talk about that "you" in " will want to...":  Have you read Nonviolent Communication?  The teachings are an integral part of a deliberate communication practice, and I highly recommend it. A pillar of nonviolent communication is the practice of owning our experience without presuming to know anyone else's.  In this instance, the colleague would be wiser to word her update as follows:

"I encourage you to contact her."

thus, owning her experience, which is wanting her followers to do a specific thing, without actually bossing them around, or bullying them.

In addition to her telling her followers what they want, she claims to know the future in saying:

" will want to..."

Even if the sentence was an effective means of communicating (which it isn't), to say that we "will want" is to steep her allegation in the conceptual notion of a linear future, which allows her followers to sidestep their present moment, and to wait until this supposed desire washes over them.  The downside of future-based communication is that it allows us to procrastinate, while taking us out of our present moment experience.

The most effective upgrade for this sentence reads as follows:

"I encourage you to contact (Marketing Coach X) immediately.  I just tried her (product she is selling), and am inspired and excited beyond measure."

The last sentence is optional, and is an honest way of mentioning the product, and of hyping it - authentically.

This concludes our words(r)matter real time upgrade.

Happy, happiest New Year to us all.



real time upgrade #1

Greetingsoh lovely and loyal words(r)matter followers.

While celebrating the solstice and all the impending light it portends, I am inspired to try something new.  The idea is to take truncated samples of client-generated copy, or blurbs, bits and bites found on the web or in various publications, and to guide you, the words(r)matter community, through my process of upgrading them.  This will allow you to familiarize yourself with unconscious communication sabotage, while I demonstrate how to effectively upgrade our languaging patterns.

Here goes:

I nabbed the following quote from a blog written by a very famous and respected life coach:

Unlike Alisa I have a strong belief we should all listen to our gut instincts more, not less frequently and I’m going to try and explain why I think it’s so important.

What appears on the surface to be one, short, well-intended sentence is, in fact, a communication train wreck loaded with doubt, pettiness, and trepidation.  Do you see why?

Let's start with Unlike Alisa...:

The author could easily remove these words without changing the content of the sentence, while owning his truth without leaning on the inferred mistaken belief system of another.  Comparison is an activity steeped in duality, necessarily reliant upon another's wrong-doing/weakness/stupidity/inferiority/etc. 

...we should...

I've blogged on "should" before, so my explanation here will be brief.  Many humans are rebellious by nature and will unconsciously contract when being told what to do.  Should is a word that challenges our will, inviting contraction and defense.  Should is ineffective because, in many cases, it shuts down the receiver, making it exponentially more difficult to land our message, and to be heard.

...I'm going to try to explain...

Like Yoda says: Don't try; do.  When we try to do anything, we are communicating doubt; we are transmitting the possibility of failure.  Try is a confidence killer. Would you rather invest in someone who is going to try to succeed, or in someone who is going to succeed?

...why I think it's so important.

If he didn't think it was important, then he wouldn't be saying it, so the word is superfluous.  Moreso, it's wishy-washy, indicative of lack of confidence, of a consciousness waiting for permission to own its own beliefs.  I promise to blog more about this in the future - the habit we humans are currently outgrowing - the one that inspires us to evade our own knowingness in favor of statistics and heavily footnoted texts authored by academics with fancy initials trailing their names.  The point here is that in modifying his assertion of importance with those two little words "I think," he is undermining his own authority, his own experience, and advising his audience to cut him some slack in case he turns out to be wrong.

This is one sentence in a blog post comprised of several, and it is brimming with doubt, ineffectiveness and a slew of energetic Nos.  

Does this make sense?  Are you grocking the points listed above?  Please, comment freely, send me questions and feedback.  I'm curious to know how this lands.