Accessability Links

More than words?

Posted by
24 Apr 2014

Regardless of the company that employs us, who our internal and external stakeholders are or the topic we may be discussing, we should all be mindful of the words, expressions and phrases we use when in conversation at work.

The manner in which we speak and the terminology we use contributes to our personal brand - whether this is in person or via social media, our words can be the difference between a great or awful first impression.

Here are some of the most common words many of us use which we should most definitely try to avoid, particularly when at work;

Unfortunately
Using this word can send out a negative message in that what you are about to say is your fault and presents an opportunity for the person you are speaking with to question your knowledge or the information you have provided. For example, Apple employees are banned from using the word 'unfortunately' and are instructed to replace with "As it turns out..." in order to sound less negative when unable to solve a problem or query.

Just
"I am just calling" - using 'just' at the beginning of a sentence or statement makes your reason for a call, discussion or idea seem less important and weakens the impact of what you are about to say. Using this word can also make it seem that you are not confident in your point and gives the impression that you have little interest in the mater at hand.

But
This word pretty much discredits everything you have just said as it is a rare that what follows 'but' is going to be of a positive nature.

No problem
Replace with "My pleasure" as stating that something is now no longer a problem suggests that there may have been a problem in the first instance - or sets you up for a fall if there are obstacles later down the line. You should be giving an impression that you are happy to help that person, portraying yourself as a well mannered and thoughtful professional.

We all have words in our vocabulary which we overuse - one of the most commonly seen and attributed to Millennials is the word 'obviously' - and I have to admit to being caught out on occasions where something is far from obvious.

It can he hard, but it's important to be careful not to use develop word tics as it's harder to break a bad habit than it is to learn new ones.

Choose words which make you sound credible, professional and authoritative. You may feel that you are making a conscious effort at first, but it will soon become a habit that could potentially boost your career without you even realising.

Are there words you find yourself overusing or notice your colleagues repeating? Leave your experiences and thoughts below.

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