Seven words you should not use if you want to sound more confident at work

The words you use could hold you back, according to Melody Wilding
The words you use could hold you back, according to Melody Wilding

You could be at a disadvantage at work simply because of some of the words you use, according to an expert who coaches high-achieving business people. Melody Wilding, in a blog for Forbes, says that people should specifically avoid using seven words and terms if they want to get ahead.

The words to avoid with Melody’s comments:


This word minimises the power of your statements and can make you seem defensive or even apologetic. Saying, “I just wanted to check in,” can be code for, “Sorry for taking up your time”.

I’m no expert, but…

This speech habit typically crops up because we want to avoid sounding pushy or arrogant, or we fear being wrong. The problem is, using qualifiers can negate the credibility of your statements.

I can’t

When you say “I can’t,” you’re sacrificing ownership and control over you actions. “Can’t” is passive, whereas saying you “won’t” do something is active. It shows that you create your own boundaries.

What if we tried…?

You’re more likely to be trusted and taken seriously when you straightforwardly state your ideas, rather than couch them as a question. Masking your opinions as questions invites rebuttal and can lead to you feel criticised.

That is like, so great!

This can indicate uncertainty, make you appear hesitant, and create a lack of trust among your audience.

Thanks! :)

You don’t need to use exclamation marks or emojis to express your enthusiasm about every. little. thing. The infusion of extra emotional cues into language touches on a core belief (or core insecurity) that we may be concerned about being perceived as kind, worthy, or likeable enough.

Am I making sene?

Until you asked that question, yes, you were. By periodically asking, “does that make sense?” or “am I explaining this alright?” you open up the possibility for your audience to wonder whether, in fact, you are.