Contributing editor, John Brandon, recently published a piece in Inc. called, “8 Expressions Really Good Communicators Always Use“. If nothing else, it proves the old adage that one man’s compliment is another man’s insult.

You can read the rationale John presents for each of his eight expressions in his post. This post is mine. And here’s the way each of his eight tips strikes me:

  1. “We have a green light.” I wanted to tell you our proposal is approved. But I couldn’t think of a way to say that.
  2. “Let me back up.” I’m sorry. Did I talk too fast? Did I use big words? Did I speak in a foreign language?
  3. “I have an answer for you.” But I’m going to string you along by telling you I have an answer for you, rather than giving you the answer.
  4. “The really good thing about that is.” What I like about it is more significant than what you like about it.
  5. “Here’s my reasoning.” I was interested in your reasoning. But that was then. This is now.
  6. “Let me tell you why that’s important.” What I think is important is more important than what you think is important.
  7. “You will think this is funny.” Get ready to plaster a phony smile on your mug.
  8. “There’s a story behind this.” And out of utter disrespect for you and your time, I’m going to tell it to you.

In the interest of giving myself equal time, here are my eight tips for effective communication:

  1. Tell the truth.
  2. Be brief.

Repeat 1 and 2 four times, and you’ll be fine.

Do you have any communications tips you’d like to share? (WARNING: Naughty language in the video clip.) Any experiences with a condescending communicator who was more adept at shooting himself in the foot and insulting others than he was at making himself clear, inoffensive, and effective? Please share them in the Comments box below.

By Peter Mercator (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons