Management Tip of the Day: Always use meaningful words

Wed Mar 7, 2012 1:14pm EST
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BOSTON (Reuters) - Meaningful words stated in the declarative mood, assertively, and positively are more likely to beget meaningful actions, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Meaningless phrases, such as 'To be honest' and 'Like I said,' often creep up in meetings and presentations. Using these expressions undermines your credibility.

Try replacing this filler language with meaning by doing the following:

1. Switch from conditional to declarative. Couching statements with phrases like 'I believe' or 'We think' weakens your argument. Strengthen your points by cutting to the chase. If you must use the conditional, try the stronger 'We're confident' or 'We expect.'

2. Be positive. Negative statements sound defensive and fail to provide information. Instead of saying 'What we're not is...' tell your audience exactly what you are."

- Today's management tip was adapted from "Replace Meaningless Words with Meaningful Ones" by Jerry Weissman.

(For the full post, see: here)