I’ve noticed something that I need to address head on! In recent Private Coaching sessions with students and meetings with other artists, I am hearing a lot of communication that just sounds like you are not confident in what you are talking about. But as a coach, I KNOW you know better.
Then, I came across this article written by Judith Humphrey, “These Expressions Make You Sound Like you Don’t Know What You’re Talking About,” that just hammered home what I have been noticing and I wanted to share two high points of this kick-ass article.
There are some major downfalls to using “wishy-washy” expressions. By using these expressions, it dilutes your message, can make you sound unsure – even when most of the time, you know you are 100% right. In a lot of cases, you are just too scared to stand on your own two feet and take a stand and voice what you know. Let’s discuss just some of the phrases Judith so expertly identifies. To read them all, check out the entire article here.
“I’m not sure, but…”
“For starters, it’s okay not to be sure about something. After all, false confidence is often just as bad as open ignorance. But saying “I’m not sure” when you really do have a decent grasp on the matter only undercuts your cause,” says Judith.
In my opinion, this phrase leaves your audience feeling of confused. Can I take this information and run with it or is it now my job to figure out if this is fact? Who is taking the reins? If you want to communicate unsureness, explaining the situation and moving pieces will help validate why there is a grey area.
“Maybe, Possibly, Potentially”
Clearly these words leave a big fat question-mark in our brains when we hear them and leave the recipiant feeling uncertain about what you are saying. I hear these phrases a lot when artists are working with a client and the client is asking something of them they don’t think they can or don’t want to deliver.
Judith uses this example, ““Maybe,” “possibly,” “probably,” “basically,” “largely,” and “hopefully” are all words that smack of indecision. If a manager says to a staff member, “Hopefully you’ll be okay with this change,” his listener might wonder whether she actually has leeway to challenge it.” Giving your client the impression that you might be willing to do something that you just are not willing to offer, is going to create resentment and confusion in the future.
I hope next time you speak with a client, update your about page on your website, reply to an email … think about using clear and confident communication that is on-brand. A huge thank you to the author of this article Judith Humphrey, for validating something that I am seeing and hearing all across our industry. Let’s stand together as confident, strong entrepreneurs that communicate clearly and concisely to propel our industry forward.