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Don’t Self-Sabotage Yourself: Avoid These Phrases in Business Communication

Don’t Self-Sabotage Yourself: Avoid These Phrases in Business Communication

Don’t Self-Sabotage Yourself: Avoid These Phrases in Business Communication

Don’t Self-Sabotage Yourself: Avoid These Phrases in Business Communication

03 Dec 2021

The world out there is cutthroat.

You don’t want to be presenting yourself any less than what you are.

And the first thing to avoid doing that is to stop underselling yourself.

Yes, it sounds surprising but we all have a habit of demonstrating ourselves as less valuable, mostly through our speech.

Thankfully, there is an effective solution to that: modifying our vocabulary. 

Simply put, you need to swap out weak words with words that make you come out more professional and competent. You may also consider professional soft-skills consultation in corporate dealings for a more personal assessment and guidance in getting your professional improved.

According to psychologists, linguists, recruiters, and CEOs say you should avoid saying these phrases if you want to appear confident and capable:

Does that make sense?

That’s a question that questions your legitimacy. Unless you are explaining a wild dream you had last night, avoid saying “does that make sense?” in any situation.

It makes you look like you are seeking validation from others. Instead go with phrases such as “what do you think about it?” or “can you please share your input on this?”

Maybe we should try

Another sentence that makes you sound dubious of your own self. Maybe is used in situations where you are not sure if something might happen or not. 

Using it with your ideas nullifies them. So, when you are saying anything with the word “maybe”, you are not really saying anything.

I think this would

Maybe you have started to see the pattern here. Any phrase that makes you sound unconvinced of your own self are better left unexpressed. 

“I think this would” is another sentence that does exactly that. Try saying “I believe this would” and believe in yourself.

Don’t Self-Sabotage Yourself

I am not sure but..

You don’t need to add disclaimer before you say something. Any word you say before the word “but” is unnecessary. 

Using this sentence undermines you so better avoid saying it.

I just wanted to 

The word just is quite unnecessary unless you are going for an apologetic tone. There’s no place in business communication for the word “just”. 

Better stop starting your emails with “Just wanted to..”. Go with “I wanted to touch base” instead as it sounds professional.

Needless to say

It is just another phrase that says you are not going to say anything but you end up saying something anyway. 

So, please avoid doing this. 

In my opinion

Avoid beating around the bush and say what you are going to say. “In my opinion” is another one of those weak openers that should be avoided, unless you want to sound unprofessional.

For what it’s worth

This is another intro that makes you sound unconvinced of yourself. If you are going to say anything that you don’t believe yourself, why would anyone else be?

If you know what I mean

Everyone knows what you mean. You don’t have to suggest them like you are saying something mysterious of cryptic. 

It is a filler phrase that should be avoided altogether, regardless of the situation.


We are not saying you shouldn’t own up to your mistakes but too many saying sorry too many times weakens your image.

Try saying “excuse me” instead, it is much clearer and less self-sabotaging.

X was developed by X

Passive voice is never a great option, especially in business communication. 

Use active voice to sound more confident and also more relatable.

Passive voice puts the subject in the background, which is not a good way to convey your points.

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