Leadership coach Terre Short says that while what you should say gets a lot of attention, it may actually be more important to know what you shouldn't say. Here are some words and phrases Short says you should stop saying ASAP.
If. Uncertainty is so 2020… Short recommends replacing all your “if” statements with “when” statements moving forward. According to Short, ‘if’ comes from a place of burden and apprehensiveness but ‘when’ is hopeful.”
I Think. Want to be a leader or at least start sounding like one? Drop “I think” from your vocabulary. Short believes that “when we say ‘I think,’ we insert doubt and suggest a lack of confidence, knowledge, and ownership.”
Just. If you think back on all the times you’ve used ‘just’ in a sentence you’ll notice that the one common thread in all of them is that you’re minimizing something. And oftentimes, it’s yourself, like when you’re telling someone you’re ‘just’ an assistant or ‘just’ in sales. Stop selling yourself short. From now on, you’re not just anything.
Might. People want clarity and accountability, and adding the word “might” in your messaging does not provide either, says Short. “It reminds me of Yoda saying, ‘Do or do not. There is no try,'” she says. “‘Might’ comes from a place of apprehension. Consider why that is. If your apprehension serves no purpose, step into a more assertive word choice, such as ‘I will’ or “We will.'”