Are you curious to find out what the word is?
Think about it. How often do you sabotage yourself with this qualifier? Many of us, especially women, use the word “just” to soften the meaning of what we are stating.
When you use the word just to describe who you are, what you do or to clarify your choice it devalues your abilities, your skills and shrinks your impact.
Here’s an example. Read this sentence:
I would just like to say that I feel that women undermine their credibility time and time again by using minimizing language.
What do you notice? Using the word “just” and the phrase “I feel” undermines the writer’s own opinion. The writer appears to not believe in their own opinion and they appear apologetic for speaking up in the first place!
Now, compare the first sentence with this revised version.
There are women who undermine their credibility time and time again by using minimizing language.
Both sentences say the same thing, but they have a significantly different tone. Once you wake up to the habit of watering down the message you will hear it everywhere.
Stay alert for phrases such as these:
- I just wanted to say
- I just called because
- I’m just checking in
- Just a suggestion, ok?
Truthfully, I’m not immune to this weak communication habit either. When I re-read past emails and blog posts I see the impact it has on my own message.
Take steps to review what you’ve written and revised the wording to eliminate “just” from your writing. It is equally as important to notice how you speak and I encourage you to be more aware of the words you use. Many times all you need to do is drop the word just from the sentence. Look at what happens to the list above when the one word is omitted:
- I wanted to say
- I called because
- I’m checking in
- A suggestion
By eliminating the word “just” from your vocabulary it will have a decided impact on your communication.
This small and important shift will improve all communication. When you feel and appear more confident and empowered it will be reflected in your business. You will get more clients, book more speaking gigs, be invited to be a guest on more podcasts and make many more interesting connections at in-person networking events.