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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work Relationships

The 7 Words That'll Open Doors (Almost) Every Time You Use Them

Many of us dream of being magically persuasive, to be able to enlist our co-worker to help us, our team member to support us, and our partner to listen to us.

If you know the right words, you can just about get anything you want.

Power words are the secret weapon of persuasion. Here are seven of them—study them, use them, practice them, and watch what happens.

1. You

In a Yale study, you ranked as the number one most influential power word in English. You shows compassion and empathy, which are at the heart of persuasive speech. The only way to boost the power of you is by using the person’s name. “You know it’s true, [name]” makes your pitch suddenly very meaningful.

2. Imagine

The word imagine expands the idea of what’s possible. Imagine you’ve won the lottery. Imagine you have the funding you’re seeking. Imagine living in your ideal house. It’s a word that opens opportunity—a word that says to skip all the worries. It bypasses critical thinking and goes straight to what feels good.

3. Act

Nothing is more powerful than action. When people act to make things happen, they move themselves closer to what they want—regardless of the outcome.

4. Because

The power of because lies on two fronts. For logical thinkers, there is great appeal in connecting cause and effect. But because works on emotions, too. If someone’s in line at Starbucks and asks to cut in front, the likely answer is no. But if that stranger adds “...because my child is waiting for me outside,” people are far more likely to say yes. Stating a reason helps people connect logically and emotionally.

5. Now

Immediacy is what everyone wants: Get what you want now. Make a change now. You can start now. Tomorrow is too late, yesterday is over, and now is exactly the right moment to start.

6. Believe

It’s not about the logic of a situation or even the reality, but what we can will into being. Believing is the first step in making something happen, the element that allows us to overcome limitations. If you believe in yourself, everything is possible.

7. Guaranteed

When you describe something as guaranteed, people are immediately put at ease. It offers assurance that a risky decision is safe, that investing is safe—or, at worst, that there is recourse for dissatisfaction. It’s a word that offers security, and it gets you what you want, when you need it. I guarantee it.

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