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Using power words and phrases at work helps inspire a more enjoyable workplace environment for everyone. Power words help motivate, encourage and build mutually respectful relationships with team members, clients and customers. Negative words can tear down, intimidate and discourage. Pick the power ones. It’s part of good business etiquette.

You can’t go wrong with these 5 power words and phrases:

  1. Please and thank you. A no-brainer for good office etiquette, but how often we forget! “Thanks for filling up the copy paper tray.” “Thank you very much for dropping off the conference booklets.” And, “Would you please let me know when the board minutes are ready?” rather than “Would you let me know when the board minutes are ready?”
  2. I’m sorry. I apologize. We all make mistakes, usually unknowingly. It takes a person of integrity and character to say, “I’m sorry” and mean it. “I’m sorry I got the data to you a few minutes late. I apologize for the inconvenience it may have caused you.”  When walking into the office kitchen for coffee, “Oops, I’m sorry I left those dishes in the sink. I had to respond to an urgent email and just forgot to take care of them.” “I’m so sorry for interrupting you. I let my words get ahead of my good manners.”
  3. How may I help? If a coworker is slammed, and you have a few extra minutes (or even if you don’t), ask how you can help. Going the extra mile shows you’re a team player and helps build a positive collaborative mind set. And when you’re the one trying to meet a tight deadline, the gesture will likely be reciprocated.
  4. Appreciate and acknowledge. Words of appreciation and acknowledgement help build relationships and rapport among coworkers. “Thank you for your work on this report. I appreciate all your research that helped the board make a wise decision on the project.” Those little “deposits” of appreciation produce a ripple effect which increases loyalty and commitment.
  5. Use a person’s name in conversation. Everyone likes to hear the sound of his/her own name. It makes the conversation more personal in a face-to-face or phone conversation. “Pat, thanks so much for arranging the meeting today.” “Beth, your feedback is invaluable.” “Michael, let me ask you several more questions about the training program.”

Power words and phrases help motivate and build up. Use them often in the workplace and with customers to convey an attitude of friendliness and  help build rapport.

You may also enjoy reading  How Not to Annoy Your Coworkers. 

Photo source: iStock

The author, Rachel Wagner, is a licensed business etiquette expert, trainer and keynote speaker. She is a sought-after resource for local and national media outlets including The Washington Post, Forbes, MONEY, Reader’s Digest and The Tulsa World. For more information, please call her at 918.970.4400 or email her at Rachel@EtiquetteTrainer.com.