Do you want a really small tip to start sounding more confident? Stop using the phrase, ‘If I’m being honest’.
I am hearing this more and more lately and it drives me crazy!
These verbal crutches, sometimes known as qualifiers, tend to diminish our credibility and disempower us.
Some common examples:
If you don’t mind me saying…
With all due respect…
In my opinion…
People are engaging in conversation with you for a reason. You don’t need to qualify or justify what you are about to say.
‘If I’m being honest’ undermines what we are about to say. In addition it:
Projects a lack of confidence- it is often used when the speaker is reluctant to speak truthfully.
It has the opposite effect- Instead of effectively conveying a perspective, it leaves the recipient with the perception that perhaps the person shouldn’t be taken at their word or that they don’t express their honest opinions in other situations.
Weakens the message- Compare the two statements:
If I’m being honest, I think we should consider finding a new sponsor for the event.
We need to find a new sponsor for the event.
What delivery comes across stronger?
Changing our language habits can be difficult but the first step is awareness and understanding our criteria for choosing the words we do.
Conversation is a two-way street, have faith that the person you engage with wants to hear your perspective and will likewise speak frankly if they have an issue with what comes out of your mouth.
Owning and aligning your thoughts, beliefs and words is congruence and increases confidence.
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About the Author: Steve currently resides in the sunny Okanagan in British Columbia Canada where he spends his free time camping at remote lakes chasing monster rainbow trout with a flyrod.