Since we're in a  pandemic and many of us are still working from home, I suggested writing these phrases on Post-Its around your computer, so you can refer to them during Zoom calls and other video meetings

They're simple phrases, mostly. Things like:

  • "How can I help?"
  • "I'm sorry, I interrupted you."
  • "I've noticed that you do ______ very well."

A lot of readers liked the idea. So, without further ado, here's a follow-up--another 10 phrases that will make people like you more: 

1. "Why don't you take this one?"

We start off with a phrase designed to be a positive setup for someone else--an "alley-oop" of a question, if you will. You use this phrase only when you're being asked something a colleague would want to answer, of course--and especially if your colleague is less likely by temperament or position to speak up in front of others.

You're helping them to shine. He or she will almost certainly remember that you did this for them.

2. "You might not have known this, but [positive thing about them]."

This is like a compliment to the nth degree. You're complimenting a colleague, while also suggesting that they're humble enough not to realize (or at least not to brag about) their strengths. Everyone likes to know that other people think they have positive attributes.

3. "I did what you suggested. Thank you"

People like to give advice. People like to be listened to. People love to think that they've contributed positively.

With these seven words, you give the listener all three positive inputs. Of course, we're assuming they actually did suggest something. But you can also sometimes identify an implied suggestion, even if they didn't make it to you directly.

4. "You were right."

An easy one. There is not a single person on the planet who does not appreciate hearing this.

5. "No."

Wait, people will like you more if you say "no?" Absolutely.

Not "no" to everything, of course. But saying "no" (politely but firmly) tells people you're confident, that you know your limitations, and that you don't want to overpromise so the other person walks away disappointed.

Plus, if you're saying "no," you're likely avoiding being stretched beyond your limits, so you're likely to be more relaxed and a more likable person as a result.

6. "Disagree and commit."

Since it allows people to go along with what you suggest (or for you to go along with what they suggest) without requiring agreement or consensus, it engenders positive feelings even among people for whom decisions haven't gone their way.

7. "Congratulations."

Don't just say this. Seek out opportunities to do so. If you learn positive things about people--their milestones, their accomplishments--write them down and then remember to congratulate them. Bonus points for doing so in front of other people (even via video).

8. "I want to introduce you to..."

This is going to require follow-up in our current quasi-virtual world, because most of the time on a video call, there's less chance to make connections between people. So think ahead. Tell people who you want to connect them with, get their agreement--and then do so afterward.

9. "Here's what I think."

This one is tricky, so maybe put an asterisk next to it. Yes, you should share your good opinions--most of the time.

Be as brief as you can on video calls, but if you can offer an opinion, it implies that a) you're paying attention, and b) that you think you have something worthwhile to add. Just, you know, make sure it actually is worthwhile.

10. "It's great to see you."

There are three kinds of people you'll encounter on video calls: the ones you talk with all the time, the ones you only talk with occasionally, and the ones you've never met before.

This phrase applies to the first two categories. In short, before you get into any specifics, this phrase tells the person that you're happy simply to be in their (virtual) presence. It's a positive, and it costs you nothing to say it.

I know there are even more phrases we can come up with, but hopefully these 10  plus the previous 10 will get you started. There's only so much room around the perimeter of your screen, after all. 

Got other suggestions? Let me know or leave them in the comments, and maybe we'll revisit this again.