We all tend to use certain phrases too often or fall back on speech patterns. That’s part of our communication style. Writer and professional speaker Jeff Haden, however, points out a few phrases that may be irritating the heck out of everyone around you.
Among the list is the “False Uncertainty”—when you pretend you’re not sure about an idea but you obviously are:
Typical usage: “You know, when I think about it… I’m not so sure shutting down that facility isn’t the best option after all.”
Oh, you’re sure; you’re just trying to create buy-in or a sense of inclusion by pretending you still have an open mind… or you’re planting seeds for something you know you will eventually do.
Never say you aren’t sure unless you really aren’t sure… and are truly willing to consider other viewpoints.
Another of my favorites (or least favorites) is the “Fake Agreement”—when someone says “I’m with you…but…” (Disagreeing with someone isn’t really being with them on that point.)
Both examples point out a sort of dishonesty when communicating. They’re not really harmful, but you might consider retiring these and other phrases for the sake of just saying what you mean.
Photo by Gustavo Devito.