Technobabble and Women

The Situation

Just when life couldn’t get any busier, Kelly’s laptop quit working. So she was off to the computer store to buy a new machine.

She barely got out the words, ‘I’m looking for a laptop’ when the eager sales associate began spewing out THOUSANDS of technical specifications for every laptop in the store!

Kelly’s head hurt. She staggered to her car, mumbling, ‘Thanks for ALL the information – ‘

Communication Action Tip

Insight: Clear and concise communication makes life easier for women.

The average woman is on chronic overload. No longer is she just multitasking. The volume of details a woman handles daily has her multiminding. Excessive facts, figures, and technobabble just produce indecision and stress.

Action Tip: Replace technobabble with benefits.

Instead of saying:

‘This laptop has a Turbo Booster Processor, Model X-Y-WHO-CARES, 50 million gigabytes of high-octane RAM, 27 USB ports, 18X rewritable DVD drive, high-definition 5.1 onboard sound, optional PCI-16-YOU-ARE-PAYING-TOO-MUCH-VGA card – blah, blah, blah – ‘

Make her life easier:

‘This is a great laptop for your business. Here is how it works.’

Final Thoughts

Technobabble can be techno-overwhelming! More women than ever are educating themselves on products and services before they shop. What is most helpful to a woman is to know which product and/or service will best meet her needs. It’s best to talk benefits first. Then talk specifications (e.g., facts, figures, measurements).

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What to Say When Something Sucks

The Situation

Your fingers peel wrapping paper off the gift faster than snow melts in the spring. As you rip into the box, you tremble with anticipation. Then your heart stops. The gift is a homemade lime-green scarf-and-hat set. YUCK. Excitedly, your best friend asks, ‘So, do you like it?’

Communication Action Tip

Step One: Use Tact

‘Wow what an interesting gift.’

In business situations, using the word interesting can be useful too. For example, when your co-worker or client comes up with a bizarre idea, you can say, ‘Wow, what an interesting idea (decision/concept/plan) you thought up.’

Step Two: Be Kind

‘Obviously, a lot of effort went into this. Thanks!’

In business you can say, ‘Obviously, a lot of thought went into this. Thanks. Hey, let’s see what other ideas we can come up with.’

Final Thoughts

Communicate to Build Lasting Relationships!

Sometimes being brutally honest can be brutally cruel. It can also be a surefire way to ensure that people don’t engage again. Supportive and encouraging language empowers people to do their best, regardless of past performance.

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How to Ask for Help

The Situation

The pressure is mounting at work and maybe even at home. Your ‘To Do’ list is overwhelming and you need help!

Communication Action Tip

Step One:Don’t use the word ‘Help’.
Be aware that the word ‘help’ can make others nervous. It can imply neediness. People may fear that you want more than they can give or that your requests for help will never end!

Step Two: Show respect for their time.
‘Cassie, if you are available/if it’s a good time/ if you have a few minutes – ‘

Step Three: Make them the expert.
‘ – I would appreciate your support/advice/thoughts/expertise – with this problem/challenge/dilemma.’

Final Thoughts

Know When to Ask.

If you believe asking for help is a sign of weakness then here is another thought – real weakness is not knowing when to ask.

Finally, follow up with those meaningful ‘thank you’ notes and e-mails!

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