It’s the Four Letter Word that is Holding you Back.


By Morag Barrett on April 21, 2015

Posted by Morag Barrett | April 21, 2015It’s the Four Letter Word that is Holding you Back.This post was first published by Morag Barrett on Linkedin.If you’ve clicked on this post expecting to see a lot of old Anglo Saxon swear words then you’re going to be disappointed. While the use of four-letter expletives will definitely hold you back, the word I’m referring to you is more innocuous, yet insidious in it’s impact.I was working with one of my clients, a high paced technology company, and two leaders were in heated conversation. It went something like this:“… like, you know it was really a problem. So I said, like, we should do this. And they were, like, maybe.”Like, Like, Like – Stop it, Stop it, Stop it!I’ve been told that ‘like’ is the new ‘um’ it’s the thinking word of the up and coming. Well in my mind, Like is not a thinking word, its a not-thinking word and more akin with the un-becoming!Filler words happen to us all, whether it’s like, basically, actually, etc. or filler sounds like um, ah, err, etc. or worse still, the lightweight filler phrase “you know” – hey they’re everywhere. Communication fluff that add no value.Filler sounds / words are easy to pick up. We think faster than we can talk, and so the filler word is a verbal hiccup that occurs when our minds and mouths are misaligned. The intent is not to eradicate them entirely, but certainly to reduce their volume and detrimental impact. You need to reduce the verbal hiccups!Now before you all start messaging me about this I will admit I went through my own phase of ‘non-thinking’ filler word. I was part of a global team that came to use the word ‘so’ as our space filler“So, what do you think we should do?”“So, this workshop is targeting our senior leaders?”“So, you know?”UGH. Thankfully I broke that habit and am currently working to break my latest habit “anyway”. Apparently “anyway” has become my default word, especially on phone calls, when I’m indicating that I’m done talking. It was my sons that pointed it out to me and now I’m painfully aware of trying to come up with alternatives so that I can finish the call and get on with doing whatever it is we have agreed during our conversation! I’ll let you know how it works out.If you are aware that you have a filler word, a non-thinking word that’s holding you back, what can you do?Next week I will share the five steps to breaking your habit.Related Articles Share
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