Be precise when you speak

By following these rules, you will speak more precisely. Also, during a conversation when somebody uses universal words or exaggerations, you will know what kind of questions to ask to get specific information.


  1. Avoid universals like “all”, “every”, “never”, “always”.
    Be specific. When you say the word “all,” in reality are you speaking of many, a few, or a couple? Does “always” mean sometimes? Does “never” actually mean last time?

  2. Replace restrictive words like “should,” “shouldn’t,” “must,” and “can’t” with a question, “What would happen if I was able to do that?”
    Instead of statements that limit your mind, by using this guideline, you end up with a list of positive feelings and enabling actions. You can expand it by asking yourself, “What prevents me from doing this now?”

  3. Ask, “How, specifically?”
    Ask many questions in order to find the real reason.

  4. Ask “Who, specifically?” and ”What, specifically?”
    Replace generalized words (people, places, things) with precise information.

  5. Respond to the statement, “too much, too many, too expensive” with a question, “Compared to what?”
    Very often that “too” is only an exaggeration.

  6. Avoid words such as “good,” “bad,” “better,” and “worse.”
    When you think or hear these words, ask the question, “According to whom?”

  7. Avoid “reading in minds.”
    Be aware of the statements, “I know he wants to do it,” and, “You don’t believe in me.” In such cases, always ask the question, “How do you know that?”

  8. Use “how” questions instead of “why” questions.
    “Why” questions usually give justifications and excuses. “How” questions give specific answers.


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