Avoid fill-ins in your conversations

miscommunicationWe all want better communication.  It’s common knowledge to be aware if you say” er-um-uh” or, the ever popular,” like” and “you know”.  All of these fill-ins do nothing to move their conversation along.  It may in fact hinder it.

One of my supervisors used” like” frequently.  It was so apparent and so annoying.  I started counting the number of likes instead of paying attention to the meaning.  It got in the way of his communication.    Don’t become like this!

There are fill-ins that block communication.  These are 3 of my favorites:

  1. “Do you mind some constructive criticism?  Really?  Obviously, there is something they want to tell you.  Now, of course anything that’s said is a huge deal!  They look like know-it-all…and you, is you,rather resentfully said”okay”, you’re opening yourself up.  Or if you say no, you look arrogant, as in it was perfect and anything said falls on deaf ears.

A better way of phrasing it?  Why not just be specific just get what needs to be said out and move on…

2. “I hear what you’re saying, but…”  Everyone wants to be listened to-heard and that phrase makes you feel less.  The “but” automatically means there’s a stop in the flow of the conversation.  How about just mirroring what was said-no value judgments.  “You’re saying,…”  No buts!

3. Women tend to ask this more than men.  “Does that make sense?  Perhaps it’s a misguided way of engaging the audience?  Unless you’re explaining something very complex, like a nuclear physics theory, assume the audience can understand and is comprehending what you’re saying.  Unfortunately, instead of looking like you care  that they “get it”and engaging the audience, you can convey a sense of being unsure, not wholly convinced of the information you’re presenting!  Are there any questions so far?  If none,then, keep going and allow time for questions at the end.

BONUS Fill-in:  “With all due respect…” you know what you’re about to say may offend…How ’bout saying it a different way and avoid this?

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