The words we speak are immensely empowering. The same thing, however, can also be one person’s undoing.
At work, the words you utter be it on a simple conversation or during business meetings affect on how others perceive you. There are often certain words and expressions that negatively impact your relationships at work and your credibility. Sometimes, these words and expressions can even influence your career advancement.
What are these words and expressions? Below are just a few words that you should remove from your vocabulary.
- “Do you still offer the 30% loyalty discount for all card holders?”
- “Yes, we do. But we need to see if you qualify for it.”
Nothing could be more frustrating that hearing this conjunction. “But” often follows a positive statement just like the example given above. It negates the clause or statement that comes before it, therefore indicating an often contrary or dissimilar notion. Using the example below, instead of saying “Yes, we do. But we need to see if you qualify for it.” you can say “Yes, we do. First, we’ll need to check if you qualify.” instead which sounds more positive.
- “I was told that you hit 105% of your quota last quarter?”
- “Actually, it’s 120% if you are going to include the last 2 weeks of March.”
There are several very good reasons why you should absolutely stop using the word “actually”. First is that it takes away from what you are really saying or from what you really mean and second, if unknowingly causes people to feel mistaken or wrong and that you are intentionally correcting them. So instead of saying “Actually, it’s 120%” you can say “It’s 120% if you are going to include the last 2 weeks of March”. Removing one word from the statement makes a whole lot of difference.
- “What was the announcement about?”
- “They’re basically freezing all purchase orders for the rest of the month.”
“Basically” is a useless adverb often used as a filler. This word, when used in a statement, has the effect of oversimplifying whatever it is that you are saying which makes it look like you are underestimating your listener. Sometimes it also serves as a hint that you do not really understand what you are talking about. you are doing one in two things – first is oversimplifying a topic or a concept (thus, underestimating your listener) and second is hinting that you don’t really understand what you are talking about. So instead of saying “They’re basically freezing all purchase orders for the rest of the month.” Simply get rid of “basically”, say “They’re freezing all purchase orders for the rest of the month.” instead.
- “So, what are you busy with right now?”
- “I’m just trying to see if I can get a break in the sales industry”
While the word “basically” oversimplifies complex matters, the word “just” on the other hand downplays statements or ideas. The word “just” has negativity written all over it. “Just”, in its most basic subtext usually means “It’s not that difficult!” Take for example the statement “I’m just trying to see if I can get a break in the sales industry”. Adding “just” on the statement immediately transforms it into something negative. Not only does it diminish what you are doing but it also speaks of yout sense of inferiority or weakness. So why not say “I’m just trying to see if I can get a break in the sales industry.” instead. Plain and simple!
- “How soon can you finish the report assigned to you?”
- “I think I’ll have it ready by the end of the week.”
“I believe”, “I feel” and “I think” are three phrases that are a normal part of everyday conversation. The problem with these phrases is that they don’t really inspire confidence. While they may, at times, express honesty or sincerity, using them still signals lack of authenticity. Using “I believe”, “I feel” and “I think” especially when answering questions or explaining something makes the speaker sound unsure more than he/she really is. So remember, the next time someone asks you about that report assigned to you, give yourself a vote of confidence and say “I’ll have it ready by the end of the week.” instead.
Under normal circumstances, the words or terms mentioned above are okay to use. However, in a business setting, clarity and proper understanding is very important. That is why you’re better off avoiding or removing these words in your vocabulary.
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