Tuesday, July 14, 2015

7 Words Destroying Your Credibility at Work

When speaking with a client, a boss, or even a coworker, you want them to take you seriously. You don’t want to give any reasons to doubt your credibility, but there are seemingly innocent words that you might be using that are working against you.

It’s fine to use “like” in reference to similes, Facebook approval, or a strong positive feeling. Where “like” goes wrong is when it’s used as a filler or in substitution of a better verb. The overuse of like conjures up images from “Valley Girl” and “Clueless.” While those movies are pop culture classics, it’s not the professional image you want to leave with your clients. Using this word incorrectly can take power away from what you’re saying and make you sound callow.

This can be a tough one to fix for some people, but it’s doable. When you’re persistently conscious of every word you say, you’ll notice how often you use “like”, and it will be easier to stop. You’ll start to catch yourself from saying it. Once you stop, you will sound much more polished.

I’m almost finished. I almost made it. I almost got the job.

While this word seems okay, all it does is mask the truth. What it’s really saying is I didn’t finish, I didn’t make it, I didn’t get the job. This word doesn’t portray you as the confident, successful professional that you are. It alludes to missed chances and lack of work ethic. Instead of using almost, give the progress you’ve made and an approximate time it will take to finish.
Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, so let’s stop using it in the workplace.

You Know
The problem with “you know” is that when it’s overused, the listener often does not know.  Someone will be describing an experience, then trail off to “you know” or use it as a filler. They don’t know! That’s why you were explaining it, you know?

You can erase “you know” at the end of almost every sentence you say, and it will still make sense. If you need to add something to the end of what you’re saying, give an explanation so the listener better understands. You will also sound more professional that way.

As cheesy and overused as it is, “do or do not, there is no try” is a great mantra when it comes to your work credibility. When you tell someone you will try to do something, it implies that you don’t care enough to actually follow through. You lose your credibility when you continue to try, but never actually DO.

Instead of saying, “I tried to call Business Y”, use “I called Business Y twice now, left 1 message, and will be following up next Thursday.” This shows you have consciously set an action plan instead of “trying” and just giving up.

Might is a lot like try- there’s no tangible way to measure something you might do (or even worse, “might try to do”). You will never build credibility based on “might”. Instead of saying “I might do that”, change it to “I will do that”. It banishes any uncertainty and shows that you are being proactive. It will also hold you accountable, making you look more reliable when you follow through.

Don’t wish for something to happen, make it happen. Every time you say “I wish…” change it to “I will…”

Instead of sounding like a daydreamer, you sound like a driven person with goals. “I will have Business Y as my client” sounds a lot better than “I wish Business Y was my client.”

If you are using “literally” in a sentence, it means you are describing something as it actually happened and not exaggerating. When you are using it to try and make a story more exciting or a situation worse than it truly was, people can see right through it. You don’t want this to happen with a client. It would literally be the worst thing to happen (kidding).

All jokes aside, this is a word you should focus on removing from your everyday vocabulary. Exaggerating your stories will hurt your credibility versus establishing it. Instead of trying to fluff up what you’re saying, just say it how it is. Be real with people, and they’ll do the same with you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Financial Staffing (CFS) is the nation’s largest, privately-held accounting and financial staffing firm. We provide qualified accounting and finance professionals on a temporary and permanent basis across a broad range of industries.

Visit our website: http://www.cfstaffing.com/

Click here to locate and contact a CFS office near you