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  • Goldie Hartford

Words do matter - choose wisely!

In this blog post I will share expressions and words to avoid and alternatives that may considered for use. Your words do matter and they do make an impact - sometimes not the impact we had hoped!


For example the statement 'I just thought we could' is minimizing and implies hesitancy or lack of confidence. Instead, what if you said 'I know we can' or 'I have an idea' - both suggest confidence, imagination, suggests collaboration and inclusivity.


Here is a list of expressions to avoid and alternatives to use

Minimizing words to be avoided

I just thought we could..... could be What if we did this.....

I have a little bit of an idea...... could be I'd like to put this idea out for consideration....

Qualifiers:

We probably..... could be I am confident we can....

Perhaps the market will.... could be I believe that....

We have support so far.... could be We have what we need right now.... Weak verb forms

I think.... could be I believe.....

We might be able to.... could be We will be be able to

The way we saw it.... could be The way we envision it.....

The way I was thinking of developing it.... could be The way we will develop it.....

If our plan really works, we will.....could be Our plan will enable us to.....

Negative

I'm not sure but.... could be I am certain....

I could be wrong but.... could be I am confident....

I could be mistaken, but.... could be My sense is that....


Other words to avoid include the 'filler' words such as: ummm, ah, so on and so forth, etc. that kind of stuff, i'm sorry (unless you are actually apologizing), you people, you know, like, OMG, LOL, and so many others.


The words we choose to use (and the tone we use them) is as important as what we choose to wear each day, how we choose to show up for each moment, and how we choose to interact with others. It is our personal messaging system that provides insight into our personality, our compassion, our empathy, and our care and attention. This post merely covers a few, the point behind it all is that each of us as leaders or otherwise, choose the words we want to use to portray our message. Let's choose wisely so our message is received as intended as often as possible.


One final note; no one ever gets it right every single time! We are human and we all make mistakes, we misread our audience, we forget alternative word options, we get caught in emotion, and so on, be kind to yourself and to others. Be curious about what has been said and be compassionate with ourselves and others when the message doesn't quite land as intended.


If you found this article helpful it would be wonderful of you to share it with other leaders.



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