I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love what I do because of the people I meet and getting to share the great ideas that come from our conversations! People just think better together sometimes. In the last six months, one thing that I have come to realize is just how powerful a script can be. By script, I mean simply a response you prepare yourself to say every time you are faced with a recurring situation. As a parent, I am still writing some scripts, but in the workplace, I would like to share two very quick and easy scripts that everyone really should add to their daily dialogue.
The first script I challenge you to start using is, “Excuse me.” Wow! Silly right? Didn’t all of our moms teach us that when we were little (or at least try to)? Yet, how many of us say it in the workplace regularly? I know that typically, I am so absorbed in my own thought or need, I give little regard to what the person I am interrupting is doing and just blurt out my question or comment. Nevertheless, I am doing better and I want you to as well. Next time – and very time – you have to interrupt someone, try saying, “Excuse me” first. You immediately give that person the option to finish that sentence they are in the middle of or complete the thought they are having. And you just make them feel better when you put them above your needs.
The second simple script is, “When do you need that by?” Over and over again in my workshops, I hear how people are given tasks so much throughout the day, that by the end of the day they have no idea what is really a priority and what isn’t. When someone interrupts you and adds to your ever-growing To Do list, get in the habit of saying, “When do you need that by?” You are putting the priority setting back on the individual and you open up the door for conversation about when you realistically can get it done. Many have shared with me that often times they just assume something is a priority only to find out, once they have asked, that it really can wait a day or two.
If you try it or come up with your own script, please let me know!
A Thought to Ponder
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Carl W. Buechner