Please don’t ever say this at work….

Here are some phrases that I don’t want you to use at work, because they can shrink your message, weaken your authority, and might have you come across as less secure or professional. I hear them being used way too often and they have become so many people’s ‘go to’ phrases, which undermines their credibility.

You deserve better.
These should be on your naughty list!

DOUBTING YOURSELF:

‘Am I making any sense?’
‘Do you understand what I mean?’
‘Is this remotely clear to anyone? Maybe I’m not explaining it right.’

MAKING YOUR IDEAS SMALL:

‘I’m sure you’ve heard this already, but….’
‘This might be old news, but…’
‘Hey, I’m no expert here….’

SHRINKING WORDS:

‘I just wanted to ask….’
‘I almost wanted to suggest….’
‘It might be better to….’

APOLOGIZING:

‘I’m sorry, but I just wanted to say…’
‘Sorry to bother you, but I….’
‘Sorry if this sounds silly, but…’

‘EMOTIONAL’ VERBS:

‘I hope you understand what I’m saying….’
‘I think it might be better to….’
‘I’m not sure if you believe in this, but….’
‘I hate to bother you, but….’

How can you fix this? Here are some simple, actionable tips:

  1. Speak in statements, and not in questions. You can check for agreement or understanding after you have made your point, not before you make it.
  2. Assume that your counterpart is equal to you, not better, smarter, or higher up in the organization.
  3. Stand your ground and speak your mind – concisely, with presence, and power.
  4. Realize that you have ideas that are worth sharing without shame or hesitation.
  5. Practise in front of a mirror to see if you are standing tall and strong!

If you’d like more tips, tools, and techniques, I welcome you to my free Communication Confidence webinar on May 9th! It’s an hour of power that is jam-packed with so many communication hacks that will help you level up in skills and confidence, so that you will finally be able to ditch the doubt and focus on what really matters. It’s live, and will not be recorded. There are morning, afternoon, and evening spots to choose from. See you there!

Love, Buffi

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