It seems ABC’s The Bachelor could use some friendly communications advice. Verbal “clutch words” — that security clutch we use to fill a lull of silence —have proved detrimental to Juan Pablo’s quest for love, landing him in the dog house with my personal favorite contestant, Andi. Instead of thinking, “Hey, now might be a good time to just be quiet,” most of us have those key words or phrases we turn to when filling an awkward void. For Juan Pablo, as the world is well aware, his verbal clutch is “okay.” Andi’s response was priceless and so eloquently stated: “I want to die if I have to hear ‘it’s okay’ again. I can’t handle it.”
So, what are some tricks to rid you of these verbal clutches? Below are some suggestions:
- Be aware – Notice you are using a verbal clutch. With awareness you will find yourself using it less and less. For me, my goal is to rid myself of the word “cool.” It’s my go-to when describing creative, a marketing strategy, thought or idea.
- Take a breath – Take a moment to pause before your next thought. Silence is a beautiful thing. That moment is just enough time to develop what you are going to say. It also allows the person or audience you are speaking with to digest your previous message.
- Talk – It sounds silly, but the more you practice communicating the more natural it becomes. Communication is an art form, and it needs to be rehearsed and massaged regularly for it to continue to flow effortlessly.
While Juan Pablo may have won over the other girls with his stunning good looks, his way with words, or lack thereof, took him out of the game with two of the more quick-witted ladies.