07/28/2014 01:26 EDT | Updated 09/27/2014 05:59 EDT

The Two Words You Should Pepper Your Conversations With

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They came at me so quickly, they would've been overlooked and forgotten if they weren't so damn powerful.

Two magical words. Describing an act often performed, but rarely acknowledged.

Here's the story behind them.

I was having a discussion with my colleague Evi Regev about a TV show we are in the throes of producing. It is created by and stars one of the biggest comedy stars in Quebec. The U.S. version we are close to getting off the ground has attracted the serious interest of one of North America's best-known TV comedic icons.

Despite what seems to be a slam dunk -- great concept, interest from top talent, etc. -- there were more than a few hiccups in the process of moving the show forward, which is what Evi and I were discussing.

It was during said the discussion that Evi dropped the two-word bomb. Not once, but three times, woven deftly into sentences. So powerful were these one-two blasts that I fail to recall any of the words that preceded or followed them, but was blown away by the context.

To end the unnecessary suspense, the words he used were simply:


Now any relatively frequent reader knows that I am obsessed with learning; it's the DNA of this blog.

And I know that people learn things all the time.

It's just that they don't talk about it, or shall I say "admit it," all that much.

Indeed, people learn, but over the years I've noticed they try to keep the actual act of it to themselves. Maybe it's somewhat of a "macho" thing to do; state something new as if you've always known it, trying to convince others you're a repository of the world's knowledge, any point of which you can summon on a millisecond's notice.

Yet in our discussion, instead of this "posing," Evi called out the information, the facts, the new real-life plot twists he had just discovered. And he didn't do it in a way akin to some bad spy movie script, hovering over a table and whispering "Quiet now! Here's what I learned..."

Without divulging confidential and competitive information, the words flowed naturally, incorporated fluidly into a sentence like diamonds on a wedding ring, something like "I thought having him attached would make this easy, but I learned that it actually complicates matters due to the studio structuring of the project financing."

Maybe this is not a big deal to you, but it is to me. Peppering one's conversation with "I learned" blends the humility of discovering something new with the strength of putting it into action. It positions the speaker as someone who has done his or her homework, and is ready to act upon this new nugget of knowledge. It's potent and a confidence builder for both parties.

I hate ending blog posts like this, but there's only one way to see how this works -- try it yourself.

But don't fake it; wait until it's real, until an authentic opportunity presents itself.

Then you'll be able to boast "Man, you won't BELIEVE what I learned!"

To others...and to yourself.


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