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May 24, 2012

Write Positively for Better Results

Your writing will be more successful if you focus on positive wording rather than negative wording since positive words are more likely to produce the response you want. A positive emphasis is more persuasive and generates goodwill on the part of the reader. In contrast, negative words can generate resistance.

  • Watch the use of the word you. This word tends to put people on the defensive. 
  • Avoid judgmental phrases, such as you claim, you obviously missed this, you deliberately neglected to.
  • Contractions, such as can’t, won’t and wouldn’t, are more positive than the spelled out words, cannot, will not, would not.
  • State what something is, not want it isn’t. Here’s an example of a negative statement of what something is not: You have 1,000 too few points to meet the requirement for an upgrade. The positive version is this: You will be eligible for an upgrade when you accumulate 1,000 additional points.

In this last example, the message is the same, but the second example is much more positive and communicates a better tone to the reader.  All these suggestions also apply to verbal communication.  Keep it positive, and be positively productive!

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