Invisible Language, Part 1: “Actually”
In this “Invisible Language” mini-series, I’ll discuss words/phrases that should be avoided when speaking with customers. They are almost always unnecessary and only serve to belittle the listener (in our case, customers/clients).
“Actually” is the most common culprit, and it’s something we are all guilty of saying from time to time. Alone, the word “actually” is harmless. But when you use it at the beginning of a sentence, its impact significantly changes.
When someone starts a sentence with actually, we know what’s going to follow. We are about to be corrected. We are about to be told we are wrong. We’re about to feel like an idiot.
“Actually” is one of the hallmarks of serial contrarians: people who can’t seem to stop themselves from correcting others. When you comment that something is light green, they respond with “actually, its mint.”