Words matter. As someone who loves writing and spent decades in nerdy activities like theater and debate club, I know words matter.
And I know verbal fillers are often a hindrance to us and our messages being taken seriously.
A couple times a year, I reflect on the words I use frequently and eliminate phrases I believe have potential to hurt my message or my reputation.
“Let me know if there are any questions” … This phrase is passive-aggressive and unnecessary. If you’ve created a culture where professional curiosity and clarity is welcomed, you shouldn’t need to give people permission to ask questions. If that isn’t your organization’s culture, work on that — starting with letting the passive-aggressive phrases go.
“I think” … This phrase is self-defeating and unnecessary. If you are speaking or writing, it is safe to say the words are your thoughts. If they weren’t you’d say “Bob thinks” or “Jane thinks”. By classifying your thoughts as your own, you actually damage your credibility and appear to lack confidence. If you cannot speak with confidence and credibility, it is always best to be quiet.
“Basically” and “Accordingly” … These are passive-aggressive words masking as authoritative words. Authority doesn’t have to assert itself. If you have it, everyone will know and behave accordingly.
“The problem is” … If you’re using this phrase, it better be followed up by a recommended solutions. Otherwise, you look whiny and incapable. Or worse — you look unwilling or uncaring. Build your reputation as a problem solver, not a problem proclaimer.
“I’ll try” or “I’ll do my best” … Just like “I think,” this is self-defeating and unnecessary. You should always be trying and/or doing your best. When you declare it on certain occasions, it calls your efforts at other times into question. And it makes you appear to lack confidence in your abilities.
What we say has power over ourselves and others. Don’t let that power work against you. Be mindful of these phrases and others that are working contrary to your goals.
Change your language. Change your life.
Spoiler Alert: Then My House Burned Down
10 Ways to Stay Healthy
More Than 63% Of Companies Are Already Using AI in HR
4 Ways to Make Your Customer Experience Stand Out
Why You Need to Reduce Friction
Leaving the World of Complex Pie Charts, Wall Street Buzz Words and Fancy Suits
Baby Boomer Women Wish They Had Saved More Money for Retirement
How to Take Control of Your Digital Identity
Increase Exposure With These Influencer Marketing Tips
Be Afraid of These Surprising Sales Stats
Building Smarter Portfolios23 hours ago
Beware the “Known-Unknowns”
Learn23 hours ago
Cybersecurity Without The Commitment
Development23 hours ago
How Freedom Resulted in $300mm to $800mm in Just 8 Years
Insights3 days ago
How to Start Your Journey to Be Different
Advisor3 days ago
11 Ways the New Tax Law Could Help or Hurt Your Tax Return
Equities3 days ago
How Being Short Enables Investors to Be More Long
Development4 days ago
Being Accountable Will Be The Key to Your Success
Advisor4 days ago
Is Life a Game of Chess or Poker?