If you’re reading this you’re probably familiar with my agency’s "Do-Not-Say List," which is a list of words we never say and in fact, are banned from our office.
To quickly recap, we’ve found that when people hear negative words like “no,” “not,” “can’t,” “won’t,” “however” or “unfortunately,” they stop listening to us. Hearing these words give people a punch-in-the-gut feeling and can cause them to enter panic mode because they’re afraid their needs aren’t going to be met.
Because of the pandemic, people are entering conversations in a heightened state of fear and worry, which means it’s especially important to carefully consider the words we use.
That is why I’ve updated my Do-Not-Say list to include the phrases leaders should avoid using in a crisis.
Check out my feature in Forbes on the subject here.