Reading the words we need to drop from emails and personally getting peeved by speakers who muster "actually" at every sentence, I knew I needed to watch the words coming out of my mouth. As a communicator, I believe it's not the shoes that tell a man but the words we use and the way we use them that matters.
The but of all jokes
If there's one word I am trying to annihilate from my everyday speech, I would say it's got to be but. My usage of "but" obliterates any semblance of careful thought I have on the subject. It feels sloppy and lazy at best.
"I think this is a good idea, but..."
To combat this, I started using "and" as a replacement. And doesn't discount whatever came before it, and instead adds onto it. See what I did there?
I feel it's more collaborative, positive, and opens up discussions to more discourse.
The problem with no problem
When colleagues request things or ask for a favour and says thanks, my initial response is always "no problem" or its cousin "no worries".
Why should it be? I'm happy to do it.
The thing is, while I am happy to help, I feel it undermines the gesture of helping. In some cases, it may even welcome others to take advantage, making it appear as though they don't need to be thankful.
Instead, I have embraced the service I render and reply "you're welcome."
There's just something great about being able to accept thanks and owning it. Kind of like when someone compliments you and instead of brushing them off, you accept it.
What I know about I don't know
This one is a little different. This a filler phrase. My default phrase. The phrase that is as heavy as a pregnant pause.
You see, whenever I speak or give my thoughts about something, you can bet your bottom dollar I will say "I don't know" at some point. As if I don't know what I'm talking about or I don't know anything and I have been rambling on like a lunatic.
The truth is, I do know. I see it as my way of softening my stance or allowing the person a chance to interject.
What does that benefit me? Nothing.
The lesser of two evils would be using "um". At least "um" is a vague sound and not the admittance of not knowing. Nonetheless, replacing my filler with another filler is a cop out.
What I'm doing instead is making it a point to be more mindful. It's managing my knee-jerk reaction to fill sentences with "I don't know."
If I pause and give myself time to think, there are way better things to say than saying I don't know. It's allowed me to own my thoughts and embrace them, and it also gives more weight for when I truthfully don't know.
- So, Um, You Really Need to Stop Using These 47 Crutch Words (Hubspot)
- Attention! Drop These Two Words From Your Emails
- Cutting Out Filler Words (Toast Masters)