Remove Qualifying Language From Your Vocabulary

You know, Yoda was right.  Do or do not; there is no try.

Using tentative or qualifying language, whether spoken or written, can drag down your credibility as a leader and as a communicator.  This bad habit makes it look like you’re less than 100% confident in what you’re saying.  Or maybe it’s that you feel the need to protect yourself from being caught in a “lie” if you’re wrong.  I’ve had to work at this on myself over the years.  I’ve also worked with a few people in my career whom feel the need to inject one of the below phrases in most of their sentences.

Here’s a starter list of phrases to weed out of your day-to-day vocabulary, with the thought that rings in my head when I hear them in parentheses:

  • “for the most part” (why not all of it?)
  • “the vast majority” (how much?)
  • “almost” (how much remains?)
  • “kind of” or “kinda”
  • “sort of” or “sorta”
  • adverb + an absolute: “nearly all,” “hardly any,” “practically all,” “virtually none”

The world we live in is already shades of grey enough.  No need to increase the gradient with qualifying language.

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