"Very insightful; makes one think, that's for sure. I now catch myself with some of these hollow words or statement! " - André Guérin
Director, Human Resources / Directeur, Ressources humaines Medtronic of Canada

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When we set out to write this book, we began by reflecting on the evolution of language in our lives. As kids we learned the alphabet, then put the letters together to form words. We were taught how to connect words into sentences and ideas. We then dressed up our ideas with grammar and punctuation and nice penmanship. What we didn't focus on nearly as much is how what we say can impact the listener and, ultimately, impact our relationships.

In other words, once armed with a full dictionary and the ability to form sentences, way less attention is then paid to word choice, delivery mechanics and style. We often find ways to dilute the clarity of our intended message. There are many possible reasons for this – avoiding conflict, wanting to be 'right', peer pressure, the list goes on. With the abundance of online communication, where for the most part tone and expression are absent, words themselves become that much more important to convey the right message. Words rule.

Through research and experimentation we have identified a handful of very common words, which run amok in daily conversations. And by that we mean they tend to disrupt innocent ideas and thoughts. What follows is a guide to knowing which words to watch out for and why. We have shared these insights with hundreds of clients, friends, and family members. We hope you have a few "ah-ha" moments as we have had over the years.

We recommend you take this book slowly, working on one chapter at a time. The goal is not about reaching the end quickly. Give yourself time to practice Scratching Your Buts because these changes don't happen overnight. We hope you will give these recommended changes your best shot and guarantee success if you do.

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AUTHOR PHOTO BY HELEN TANSEY