Boilerplate kills kittens.
Early in my career, I worked as a technical writer for a large government contractor. The GPO Manual was our ultimate arbiter of word choice, I learned to spell “judgment” without a second “e,” and we relied heavily on giant chunks of pre-written text.
I was a “writer,” but one who was having her soul slowly crushed under the weight of government regulations.
Those formative experiences gave me an intense interest in how words are applied. How just the right word can make or break a relationship, a transaction, a pitch.
Leaders use powerful words. Entrepreneurs must have an arsenal of persuasive words in their stockpiles. Business builders need to project clarity (so let’s ditch the jargon).
When you answer the same questions over and over again, it can be tempting to fall back on key phrases. Same thing when you assume the “corporate” mantle in an email or a phone call.
“We deeply regret the inconvenience.”
See that? A kitten just keeled over.
Would the customer feel better if you simply said, “I’m so sorry”? Yes.
My challenge to you today is to catch yourself using these worn out words. Give a fresh eye to the way you talk to your customers, partners, and colleagues.
On your website, do you ask your customers to “submit a ticket” when they have a problem? Could you change that to “ask for help”?
Do you constantly use the Royal “we” when you’re talking to customers? Stop doing that. You’re not the Queen of England.
Sprinkle some surprise into your conversation, whether it’s online or in person. Humans love surprises.
Communication shouldnÂt be complicated. It should just be genuine and simple, with the humility and understanding that weÂre all multi-dimensional humans, everyone of which has spent time in both the dark and delightful parts of life. -Bryan Kramer, author of “Human to Human“
We can’t let ourselves be subsumed by our robot overlords yet. Their faux-human handwriting is getting better and better, but they’re not quite there yet.