Phrases that make you sound weak at work

Communication is a vital part of our life. We talk, share, reciprocate, and understand each other every minute. Informal communication doesn’t need much effort but formal communication has to be the right mix of words, tone, and body language.

Often we come across people who are humble or humorous but when it comes to the work talk, they become the clueless frog in the well, unintentionally. It is not their fault but there is a way to not be that frog.

Maintaining a good vocabulary helps, but even then there will be incidents when our regular vocabulary kicks in. There are words and phrases that we use in general which can make you sound weak or insecure in the work-place.

I believe the question that comes to your mind must be “Which phrases am I talking about?”

Let me walk you through some general phrases to be avoided at any cost at the work-place.

1. Does that make sense?

Whatever you are going to say should make sense to you first. Even if it doesn’t and you want to say it, do not put up the validation question right after. When you do that, you directly point out that whatever you just said doesn’t make any sense to you as well. Wait for the listener’s opinion before directing them to the conclusion. The human mind works on direction, your words provide directions to your listeners, choose them wisely.

2. Just my opinion

If I am putting up my points on a common topic, it is pretty clear that those are my opinions, isn’t it? Using the phrase, again and over again in a conversation, makes the other think you are imposing your opinion on them as it can be wrong, the conversation might not end well. The simple solution is to avoid the phrase consciously and to think about all the other ways of structuring the same sentence so that it gives you space to change it if proven wrong.

3. I hope that’s okay.

Your mind knows you better and when you are ending your statement with this, your mind knows well that you are asking for something too big to ask for. If you have the authority that can make others do the work you are asking for, then don’t feel it’s too big to ask for. Explain to yourself why the work is important and how it is advantaging both of you. Don’t add the phrase, just know it is okay.

4. I could be wrong

Like I said in the second point, few things are just understood in a conversation, we don’t need to say them aloud. Every one of us can be wrong at any point in our life that doesn’t mean we keep on announcing that with everything we do. Being wrong is a part of the process, that’s how we grow, don’t give it an authority to make you sound weak.

5. I’m sorry

Being sorry for something you are wrong about is a wonderful gesture, but being sorry for everything is a sure sign of insecurity. It shows how you value the opinion of others more than yours, every time. Seriously, stop doing that! It is important to hold your words inside your mouth to keep it from destroying you at times.

6. It’s out of my hands

There will be situations that will test your leadership quality, you cannot say the phrase even if you know things are not in your hand. You are the leader here and you cannot let your team fall apart. Period.

7. I feel like…

When you are in a meeting, you have the power to speak as a whole. Saying a self-centered statement will just take away the power from you. We in general, use such terms which is why you have to consciously eliminate them. Instead, use, I believe or I think to put your thoughts smoothly.

8. Would it be possible…?

Did you hear an impossible request? Well, I did. Rephrase a request with a “Could” or “How about” sentence to make it sound possible and a request together. Your words reflect you so make sure, you do it right!