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Ban These Words from Your Conversation Immediately

Here's one thing I've learned to do that has helped me maintain my authenticity: Be deliberate.

Deliberate is being purposeful, intentional, and knowing.

Being deliberate in conversation - and in life - is doing so consciously.

So why do you say things like, "Pretty much," "Kind of," "Sort of," "Not really," "Maybe," and "I think so"? What does all of that mean? Is it harmless talk? A conversation filler? A way to get out of making a commitment? A fear-based response?

Unfortunately, it diminishes your credibility. It means you are unsure. It means you're half-assing it. It means you ain't got this. It's questionable, thoughtless, careless, scattered, and inconsistent.

99.9% of deliberateness isn’t good enough. Be 100% deliberate, 100% of the time.

So what do you do? How do you shift to conversations that are deliberate, purposeful, and knowing - like you got your shit together?

Start with a BIG, "Hell yes!" "No," "In my opinion," or "Let me find out."

Being deliberate is not a common trait, but leaders understand how critical it is to be straight-forward, thoughtful, honest, and transparent.

Not confident?

When you're not confident in yourself, you leave an opening for people to misunderstand you or make assumptions about what you are wanting. To live the kind of life you want to live, you have to be clear about what you want and don't want, how you want to be treated, and what you will or will not tolerate. You must be clear about your desires and deliberate with your words.

Here are some suggestions:

"Absolutely not. That's not what I want in my life."

"No, that doesn't fit into my bigger plan."

"That sounds/looks good, but it doesn't add value to my life."

"Yes, that's what I want."

"If what you're saying is ______, then yes, that's what I want."

"No thanks. I already have plans."

"I haven't given that much thought. Give me some time to consider it."

"No. That's not how I'm going to be treated."

"That sounds interesting, but I'm not ready to commit."

Lacking something (i.e. confidence/time/resources/interest)?

Any answer other than yes or no when it comes to questions about your wants, needs, and qualities reeks lack of confidence. Either you know something or you don't. Either you want it or not. Either you can do it or you can't. If you kind of want it, in my opinion, you don't want it. If you're going to kick ass in business and in life, you have to be bold and confident. Sure and certain. Unwavering.

Try these responses instead:

"Yes! I've been wanting to do that."

"No, that doesn't work for me at this time. I'll reconsider at a later date."

"Let me think about that and get back to you."

"I've learned the basics, but I'm not an expert. I'm open to learning."

"Yes, I can do that."

"No, that doesn't interest me, but I would consider ______."

"My plate is full at the moment."

Unsure or Uncertain?

It's OK to be uncertain. However, you should be open about your uncertainty. If you don't know the answer to something or you're ever unsure, you can still be helpful and build trust by simply offering to find out the answer.

Here are some suggestions:

"I'll find out and get back to you."

"Let me get that answer for you. Give me a moment."

"Good question! Let's figure that out."

"I don't have that information in front of me and I want to ensure you get what you need, so let me get back to you."

Don't have the facts?

There's nothing wrong with not knowing. It's best to be honest whether the conversation is a personal or professional one. One of the worse things you can say to someone when they are soliciting information from you is, "I think so." It helps no one and leaves you looking careless. If you don't have all the facts, you can still save face or maintain professionalism by rephrasing your answer.

Here are some suggestions:

"In my opinion, the best way to ______ is ______."

"It's best to check ______ to be certain."

"I've been wondering the same thing. Let me find out."

"I'm unsure about that. Here's where you can find out."

Bottom line: Be deliberate in your words and actions so that they're never questionable or assumption worthy.

All the best,

Wanauma Graham



Wanauma Graham is the founder of BossFreeMedia.com, a hub for self-development content for women entrepreneurs. Wanauma’s books include Totally Unstoppable, Her Mark and a collection of journals and planners.

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