Everything begins with attention. Attention is all about connection. Words connect us, and when the right words are used, connections are deepened.
Here are 10 ways to pay attention to the words you use and consider a change to old, cliché, cheap phrases and words that don’t serve you and build a strong personal brand.
- Remove ‘but’ – No one believes what you say before but, only the words you use after it. Don’t change it to ‘however’; simply make your point and stop talking. Eliminate your but.
- Replace ‘problem’ with challenge – if you ever say to someone ‘you know what your problem is?’ … I bet they don’t want to listen! Problem is a negative word, use challenge or opportunity instead for a positive spin on a negative word.
- Replace ‘issue’ with challenge (the same reasoning applies to using the word problem.)
- Stop ‘shoulding’ on people. When someone says ‘you know what you should do?’ … do you listen? I don’t. Replace and change your ‘should’ with ‘would you consider?’
- Remove ‘I can’t’ and change it to ‘I could do this, or I have the capacity to do this’ – look for a positive way to replace this.
- Stop saying ‘they work for me’ change this to ‘they work with me’ – it’s more inclusive language for everyone.
- Stop saying ‘my team’ and start saying ‘our team’. A friend Chad Hymas often says where can you replace the words I, me, my with you, we and ours. Good advice.
- Stop saying ‘take it to the next level’ – I hate that phrase (yep that’s harsh language) because it is an overused cliché, stop it and get more creative with your words i.e. accelerate results, create progress or improve performance.
- I beg you to stop saying ‘push the envelope’ – just when I thought this crazy phrase was eliminated, I heard a senior executive use it in a meeting this week – blew my mind. Don’t use it. Get creative use words like explore boundaries or overcome objections.
- Eliminate ‘outside the box’ – what a silly phrase. I am tiny; I could fit in a box, and this phrase always makes me giggle. Stop it, immediately. Use words like creative, innovative, ground breaking… and please avoid this overused phrase.
What words or phrases drive you crazy? Love to hear them and share them below: