Watch your language when you speak to others. We might not be aware of particularly vocabulary, that devalues contributions to a conversation or meeting, or even interaction with colleagues.
Being aware of the language we use and how we use it assists when we are asserting ourselves in different business situations. Even if we are being assertive we can ‘sabotage’ our intentions by adding ‘weak’ vocabulary such as “just” “Sorry” “It’s only me” “I think” etc.
An interesting article in the Harvard Business Review challenges people to replace meaningless/weak words with more positive, empowering ones. Read the article here.
I researched my own use of some of these weak words and was horrified to see that I was using “Just” often – particularly for Social Media postings. Comments like “I’ve just completed a great session with one of my clients”, and “Just putting together ideas for a podcast”. I also reviewed the voice mail messages I left for clients and family. The ones for my family included more than a few “It’s only me”.
The challenge using this type of language is that your audience questions your value or contribution to a conversation. The word ‘just’ implies something of less value. If I say “It’s me” or “It’s JUST me”, the second version projects doubt into the listener.
If I say “I think” or “I believe”, your audience will subconsciously question your statement. Replacing the statement with an empowering verb such as “I’m confident…” immediately gives your audience more confidence when you speak.
However, please be aware of HOW you say more meaningful/stronger vocabulary. Match your strong vocabulary with confident body language and a strong, assertive voice. How many people have we heard speak strong statements, but what they say isn’t matched by their posture and tone of voice?
The skills of meaningful vocabulary and matched tone of voice and body language is part of the content of our Assertiveness Workshop for teams. This is an essential skill set to develop. It is a set of skills many people get wrong: either being too aggressive OR passive. Developing good use of language, open body language and good tone of voice is invaluable for businesses and individuals. Teams work better when they communicate in a positive assertive way, and business relationships develop more effectively when there is assertive communication both ways.
If you would like to discuss this training for your team or business, contact us. We look forward to developing your team’s assertiveness skills.