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I Kind of Need to Stop Saying – Hedge Words

Just Be Iron Man“I kind of feel….”

“I almost think…”

“What we might want to do is…”

“I sort of think you're right.”

Have you ever caught yourself saying any of these phrases?

I have. All the time. I kinda need to stop.

It's like I am a super hero who can never let my identity be known. I am the Superman of “kind of”, the Batman of “sort of”, the Spiderman of…well you get the point.

I really need to be more like FREAKING IRON MAN.

Actually, couldn't we all use a little more Iron Man in our lives?

Hedging Our Bets

Hedge words are used when you don't want to commit 100% to what you are saying.  In my case, I don't even realize I am using them most of the time. It's just the way I speak. It's like using filler words in a speech. Kind of, sort of, almost, maybe are my ums, ahhs, and ers.

There are times when it is useful to use theses hedge words. If we want to spare someone's feelings or soften the message of what we say or if we are ACTUALLY unsure.

Most of the time theses words just undermine our credibility and make us appear less confident!

Banishing Hedge Words like a Super Villain

Lex Luther, the Green Goblin and the Joker combined don't have anything on the power of hedge words. They are hard to get rid of when you speak.

The first place to start is admitting that you have a problem. Awareness is key. When I hear myself use one of these words, if I can I correct myself.

If I am on a client call or doing an phone interview, I have a post-it note to remind me not to use those words.

Let's stop hedging our bets. Let's proclaim the Iron Man-ness of our thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Who is with me? What are your ideas for getting rid of hedge words? Share them below!


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2 responses to “I Kind of Need to Stop Saying – Hedge Words”

  1. Craig Hadden - Remote Possibilities says:

    Thanks Michelle – well said.

    A while back it occurred to me that I (used to) use “I think…” a lot. The subtext is “I’m not sure”.

    So I resolved to use “I believe…” instead, when appropriate – and when I remembered to!

    To me, that’s a much more assertive phrase than “I think…” (By the way, I’ve also started using “To me…” as a similarly assertive way to say “This is my opinion”!)

    I really like the poem by Taylor Mali on this subject, a recording of which you can see via . I hope you enjoy it as well.

    P.S. I hope your Post-It note says what to say, rather than what NOT to say. (The latter’s like being told “Whatever you do, don’t think about a pink elephant!” – probably impossible to comply.)

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you Craig! I’ve seen that poem by Taylor Mali before. I forgot about but it is exactly what I am talking about!

      Good suggestion on the post-it. I like mine to read CONFIDENCE or You’ve Got This!

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