I hope you neither misread nor misinterpreted the title here. One, this post is more than four words, and two, if you think it’s about four-letter words, this is probably the wrong blog for you.
I’m talking about words you need to know. Not the ‘nice to know’ ones like adventitious and prolific, or the entirely optional ones like dactylomegaly and naiad. And not the ones that are useful to know, which pretty much covers the rest of any language. I mean the ones you need to keep on the tip of your tongue, whether you’re dealing with a personal relationships or strictly business. Not because they help you win or anything like that, but because they are just so darn useful when all you want to do is get past roadblocks.
There are plenty of roadblocks in life, and sometimes words are what keep them stuck in place, impeding progress by getting in everyone’s way. Those are the words that cause confusion about how to work together. Consider, for instance, the ultimate conversation-stopper, ‘I don’t know.’ (IDK for you who have your conversations via text.) Does it mean ‘I don’t care’, ‘convince me’, or ‘I wish I was someplace else’? Not only does it notmove the conversation toward conclusion, but it almost always brings it to a crashing halt. Which is why I’m so happy when I hear words that move business along, and why I’m trying to remind you to use them.
On to the story.
I overheard one side of a business conversation the other day. I wasn’t eavesdropping, but the interaction was clearly pretty intense, at least judging from the side I could see. I love it when people show their enthusiasm. The animation went on for some time, sparked with some hand waving and pacing, as the crescendos appeared to pile on top of each other. Clearly, something productive was happening… And then, because sometimes acoustics work in your favor, I heard four words from the otherside of the conversation.
I didn’t see the other side so I can’t say if there were pacing and arm waving and crescendos happening there. But I did hear the four words that we all need to make things happen together:
“We’ll figure it out.”
And I have no doubt that’s exactly what will happen.