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Eliminate These Words To Excel in Your Career

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Are the words and phrases you're using hindering your ability to communicate with upper management? Is your vocabulary weakening your motivational message to your team?

You spend your day influencing and impacting those around you in a positive manner. And yet chances are, you are unintentionally using language that is undermining your impact and your career.

Words and phrases to stop using TODAY:

  1. Like (you're not a teenager anymore)

  2. If you have a minute

  3. This may be a dumb question, but

  4. Maybe I should

  5. I think (when making a recommendation or suggestion)

  6. I am not an expert

  7. This may not work

  8. I might

  9. Actually

  10. I’m thinking of

  11. SORRY…(the worst offender when it is not needed)

This is not an easy change to implement and doesn't happen overnight. Begin with eliminating one or two phrases each week. Start with your written content because it is easier to re-read and delete in emails and documents than it is while speaking. Try the Just Not Sorry plugin.

As you focus on this in your writing, you will notice a difference in your speaking too. Slow down while talking. Think about what you want to say before you speak.

Then share this knowledge with your team and colleagues. Let them know you want to help them excel their careers and this is a relatively easy way to do it.

I have a lot of practice with this with two teenagers at home. I am constantly, much to their annoyance, asking them to repeat themselves without the word ‘like’. Try it today!

What language do you notice is weak? What other words would you recommend taking out of your vocabulary? Email me at

Thanks to our guest blogger, Julie Holunga and check out her TEDx Talk, Don't Let Your Words Sabotage Your Career.

Want to learn more about how to incorporate strong leadership language into your daily life? Join Julie's next cohort of the virtual Women's Catalyst Network starting on March 23, a leadership development program geared specifically toward female leaders.

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