My mother lived with me in her last years. We enjoyed her sense of humor.

Here's part of that - that made me realize how useless the phrase, "Hi How are you?" is.

The house phone rang. Esther answered.

The man says, "Hi, Mrs. Friedman, this is Dan from XXX, How are you?"

My mother says - without missing a beat:

"I'm so glad you called, I have a bad case of diarrhea, a terrible migraine, been vomiting all day, my pacemaker is running slower than normal, and I have a bad rash.... How are you?

He said, 'well, compared to you - a hell of a lot better" and hung up.

Point being; "Hi how are you" is semi useless" Especially to those we don't even know. I've seen folks pass in the halls, in a mall, in an office, everywhere... one says, "Hi how are you?" The other says "fine, how are you"?... no one stops...they're still walking - and nothing was accomplished.

I've removed "Hi How are you" from my vocabulary. It's been replaced with any one of these phrases and I share them with you:

  • Good to see you.
  • Hi, you're looking well.
  • Thanks for being here
  • You look super.
  • Nice to hear your voice (On phone)
  • I'm glad you called. (On phone)
  • You're sounding great. (On phone)

There are more.. I just got the ball rolling......anything, but "Hi, how are you?"

I've changed my mind. It's not semi useless. Just useless.

Watch what happens when you change your tune. People start really listening to you.

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Nancy Friedman is a featured Keynote speaker and subject matter expert on Customer Service and Communications skills, at franchise, association & corporate meetings. She has appeared on OPRAH, Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning & many others. Nancy is the author of 8 books on sales and customer service and is the spokesperson in the popular DVD customer service training programs. For a demo of Nancy call 314 291 1012 or visit -



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