There are little things women tend to do in speech and writing that aren’t little at all, in fact. They can have a big impact – and a negative one, at that.
These are attempts to walk the fine line of saying something without coming on too strong, but instead they convey tentativeness and self-doubt, or worse, self-deprecation.
Emails are a great place to start because when you write an email, you have the opportunity to pause, review and edit.
● Check for unnecessary apologies – where you are saying sorry for no good reason, or for simply taking up space on the planet. For example: ‘Sorry to bother you but…,’ or ‘Sorry if this is a silly question…’. Sound familiar?
● Check for ‘shrinkers’ – these are words like ‘just’, ‘actually’ and ‘almost’. As in, ‘I just think…,’ ‘I actually disagree,’ ‘I almost want to suggest that we…’ Delete them!
● Check for instances of ‘Does that make sense?’ and ‘Am I making sense?’ or ‘Do you know what I mean?’ and replace these questions with something like, ‘I look forward to hearing your thoughts’ or ‘Let me know if you have questions about this.’ I know you are trying to make sure your audience understands you, but you can find out if they have questions without implying that you have been incoherent.