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Common Phrases To Avoid With Clients

September 24, 2021

Certain words and phrases you use may undermine your authority and professionalism. Lifehacker.com recently spotlighted some of these common “apprehensive phrases” that make you sound less confident. Here are a few words that made their list:

“Just”

“When we introduce our questions and ideas with this four-letter word—‘I’m just following up,’ ‘Just wanted to add...’—the undertone is one of apology,” writes Sarah Showfety for Lifehacker.com. “It’s a subtle preemptive excuse for potentially disturbing someone. It minimizes our power, and sounds as if we’re asking for permission to speak—something confident speakers rarely do.”

“Sorry (to bother you…)”

There’s no need to apologize: “Sorry if this has been said before…” “Sorry for venting…” or even to co-workers: “Sorry, can you tell me how much this is?” Those who apologize needlessly appear more timid, according to Canadian sociologist Maja Jovanovic. Replace the “sorry”s with “I’d like to add…” or “why don’t we try this” or “thank you.”

“Does that make sense?” or “Do you know what I’m saying?”

“If we think we’re rambling, or don’t have the words to clearly convey our point, there are a few solid alternatives to looking for external validation that we’re not being too confusing,” Showfety writes. Instead, try “Let me rephrase that” or “There’s a lot I’d like to say about this” or “This is a new idea for me.”

Learn more phrases or words to avoid at lifehacker.com.