You’re a confident, go-getting woman who wants to be taken seriously in her career right? But did you know that the language you use at work could be making people see you as just the opposite? Take a look at these overused phrases that you need to say goodbye to now, and start speaking like the powerhouse you are instead.
Women use this word way too much, especially in the workplace. There’s no need to apologise for asking a question, sending an email, clarifying a point. While you may think saying ‘sorry’ is a softer approach, all it does is make you seem subservient and apologetic. So delete it from your work vocabulary immediately, and save it for when you actually do need to say sorry.
“I just wanted to…”
Do what? Soften the blow when asking a difficult question or making a controversial point? In actual fact, diluting the impact of your words will only undermine the assertive image you’re trying to project. Again, starting your sentences with ‘I just wanted to’ is similar to an apology – cut this phrase out completely and your language will immediately become firmer, more decisive and more worthy of respect.
“I think” or “I feel”
Everything we say is always just a matter of our own opinion. So there’s no need to start by saying ‘I think’ when you want to bring something up. Men rarely do, and their opinions are taken more seriously as a result. So the next time you’re about to start with ‘I think’, avoid the temptation and get straight to the point instead. You’ll be surprised at the positive effect it’ll have.
If you’ve ever used this phrase, it’s probably because you’ve done something for someone and they’re thanking you for it. But instead of saying ‘you’re welcome’, you’re brushing off their thanks, and not taking the credit you deserve. Whether what you did was a little favour or a big ask, you still got the job done, and you’re still worthy of praise. Minimising your part in the process could even lead to people taking advantage of you down the line if you don’t acknowledge that the role you played was an important one. So the next time someone says ‘thank you’, say ‘you’re welcome’, and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
For more career advice here are the DOs and DON’Ts of being friends with your boss!