All right. Moment of hard truth.
I do it too!
Those tentative phrases that us women seem to have been brainwashed into using.
Words such as: kind of, sort of, maybe, might, please, sorry, somewhat.
Questions like, “know what I mean/what I’m saying”, “does that make sense”, or up talking our statements, making them sound like a question, unintentionally inviting unsolicited opinions like moths to a flame.
These words and tendencies are the cornerstones of tentative speech. And friends we all need to quit qualifying, because we belong right where we are in our professional and personal lives!
Tentative speech is the shy alternative to assertion, and sadly it can be a characteristic of those who lack confidence in themselves, or feel a lack of power or status.
Now I know for a fact this is not how you want to come across in your next big pitch meeting or email to the C-Suite.
The fix is both simple and challenging. If you want to own what you have to say in your next email or big meeting, then its time to quit using all the soft words and phrases.
You gotta drop em, just like the mic.
To start working your way up to this moment, here's a few suggestions to help you say what you mean and mean what you say.
A quick fix to start, find every qualifier in your freshly written email and delete them. Feeling like this email sounds a bit harsh? It might to you at first, but odds are your readers will start taking your directives as exactly that, a directive, with a few less opinions to go around.
Tack a post-it with all your verbal hesitancies up on your computer screen or in the notebook that goes with you to every meeting. Have them within constant view so there’s an ever present reminder of the words you’re dropping from your vocab.
Count em up. Enlist the services of a trusted friend or co-worker to start tallying how many times you use these words, or keep your own score. Start to notice how prevalent these tentative phrases are in your speech.
Let’s band together and own the power of how we speak and write.
I know I’m worth it, and I know you are too. No kind of, sort of or maybe about it.