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.