From time to time, I spot a huge language error business creators make, in which they literally cancel out their own point.
Here are three examples:
- “Is it not true that Earth is round?”
- “You’d think that giving to charity is the right thing to do… no?”
- “There’s nothing better than a delicious stick of chewing gum, don’t you agree?”
Do you see the problem?
Three Little Words: “Not…No…Don’t.”
In all three examples, the person making the point simultaneously plants the seed that what they are saying is not true.
Plus, they invite counterpoint by a) phrasing it as a question, and b) pre-assuming agreement with an answer in a way that might not agree with their reader’s truth.
Let’s counterpoint right now, just to illustrate the problem with the above statements:
- “No, Earth is actually sort of an oval.” (Sources: Scientific American, Universe Today, NOAA, BBC)
- “No, there are plenty of good reasons not to give to charity.” (Sources: Marketplace, Consumer Reports, Readers’ Digest, Metro, Business Insider)
- “No. Singapore has the right idea on chewing gum.” (Sources: BBC, Business Insider, Mercola, ABC News, Wall Street Journal)
As you see, it’s easy to dispute “not…no…don’t” statements.
In fact, in coming up with my responses, 99% of my time was spent binging the yahoo out of the googles for source links to back up what I already saw as MY truth.
Avoid Contradicting Your Own Assertions – Unless You Want Them Contradicted
Use affirmative statements, embedded with commands and suggestions.
Be LESS specific.
Along with that, try agreeing, rather than asking. Watch this:
- “I agree, Earth is not round. Science shows it’s an oval.”
- “I agree that doing good for others is a rewarding benefit of being successful.”
- “I agree that many people find chewing gum to be delicious.”
These are not difficult things for most people to agree with, or at least be willing to hear objectively without necessarily having to argue.
Asking for things a certain way can cause either agreement or argument.