The Four Letter Word that is Killing Your Business
27th September 2012 · 3 Comments
I’d like to start a movement to make the word ‘busy’ unacceptable in formal speech. Keep it, along with the list of the seven dirty words George Carlin spelled out for us, at your smoke-filled bars, sporting events, and fraternity parties. Don’t let it pass through your lips at networking events, business meetings, and especially in front of your mother.
I believe this strongly – not for the definition or sound, but for the usage. It’s a crutch. Just like swearing. If you rely on the same word to express yourself, than you aren’t being creative or perhaps with this particular offender – truthful.
“Oh, I’m so busy,” frequently falls out of the mouths of cocktail-carrying suit-wearing people. Telling someone exactly what you’re doing helps them get to know you better, and could help them refer your business. You’re also engaging them, telling them that speaking with them is worth your time.
I too am guilty of the busy blow-off, but here’s my plan for quitting.
-Make a list of three things I’ve done recently to replace the usual response. I’ll include recent successes, new projects, professional events attended, etc.
-Rather than asking someone, “How are you?” I’m going to ask them specifically if they are working on anything new, or something I should know about. Hopefully, soliciting specific response, will help me remember to do the same.
-When I get it right, I’m going to associate it with something good. An extra dessert, perhaps?
-When I catch b-u-s-y coming out of my mouth, I’m going to follow-up with a sentence or two and explain what exactly I’ve been doing.
I’m going to try especially hard not to give my mom the busy treatment. A friend asked me if my mother knew what I did. “Not really,” I shrugged. “Don’t you think that is important?” he asked narrowing his brow at me. Yes, it is. She deserves a better response. As does everyone else.