I’m heading back from Jacksonville to LA and I wanted to share this. I was in Jacksonville and our flight was delayed. That’s annoying but it happens. So I decided to sit down at the restaurant and I was enjoying my food and this guy sat down next to me. He kind of huffed and puffed, he was kind of annoyed because the flight was cancelled. The waitress comes up and was just being super bubbly and all fun, then he looks at her and chooses the words to say “How slow are you?” Now, think about this for minute. Out of all of the things that he could have chosen to say, he asked “How slow are you?” He wasn’t asking about her specifically, he was asking “How busy are you, how much time is it going to take for the food to get here. Is it going to be a reasonable time or is it going to be a long time?” But he chose the words “How slow are you?”
What I saw happen immediately was that the waitress went from bubbly to something sadder. She kind of mumbled and closed in on herself. It was amazing at those four simple words completely changed how she perceived that whole interaction. The funny part is that literally just about a few minutes before that, I asked a different waitress the same question but I asked it a little bit differently. I said “Hey if I were going to get some food, I’ve about 10 or 15 minutes, will that be enough time for me to get food here?” I got a bubbly response.
But just four words chosen in that order changed everything: how she perceived it, how the rest of his flight was going to happen, and how his whole experience was going to be. It’s amazing and I think people too often don’t think about what the impact of the words they chose with other people. We don’t realize how powerful the words we choose can really be if we want them to. We just kind of use whatever pops into our heads.
So I challenge you guys to think about what words you use and what ones are very negative and what order you use them in. The way that you use them can make someone’s day shitty or make someone’s day amazing. That’s huge.
I couldn’t not share that. Choose you words carefully and do what you can to make people’s days better instead of shittier, especially if they’re already going to be shitty in the first place. Just keep that in mind.