Your skills and expertise are only a part of the impression you make at your workplace. The employees that really shine are the ones who can also communicate effectively! The good news is that you don’t need to be a seasoned master in your profession to exude confidence while you speak. Even interns and entry-level employees can sound self-assured. With that said, take a look at the five words and phrases below to strike from your workplace vocabulary immediately.
1. I Think…
A lot of us are guilty of saying “I think” when sharing ideas and opinions in the workplace. Even though it feels so natural to throw that phrase in there, it’s best to get straight to the point! Saying “I think” often makes your statement weaker because you really don’t sound sure of yourself. Try delivering a more definitive statement instead. For example, instead of saying, “I think I can tackle that project,” simply say “I can tackle that project.”
2. Uhh & Umm
Your teachers have probably harped on you for this one before! It’s really nothing new or surprising. Saying umm and uhh make you sound confused and unconfident, so strike them from your workplace conversations.
3. I Just…
Here’s another weak phrase that gets tossed around way too often. It makes you sound overly apologetic when chances are, you don’t have anything to be apologetic about! So, the next time you’re following up on a workplace email, don’t say, “I just wanted to follow up on this.” Simply say, “I’m following up on my last email.”
4. I feel… (or I believe)
Similar to the phrase “I think,” these phrases aren’t definitive. Consider the next two phrases, and decide for yourself which one sounds more confident.
“I feel like this campaign isn’t ready to launch.”
“I recommend revising this campaign before launching.”
If you’re on the same page as us, you’ll agree the second statement is more effective.
Of course, saying “sorry” is completely necessary sometimes. It only becomes a problem if you find yourself over-apologizing, especially for things that don’t even warrant an apology! Let’s say you’re heading over to a coworker to brief them on a project. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry to drop all this information on you” or “I’m sorry to bother you,” think about other ways you can accommodate them without an unnecessary apology. Maybe you’ll say, “Let me know if this information is manageable.” Or, “Stop by my desk when you have time to chat about this project.”
Can you think of anything we didn’t list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!