Communication is at the heart of great leadership, great teamwork and great relationships. The Culture Coaches teach that refining communication is one of the impactful opportunities for drastic improvements in the workplace.

A favorite module of our communication workshop is our “Dirty Words” and phrases education. They may not be what you think!

Which dirty words can you remove from your vocabulary?

Try – Either commit or don’t commit.

But – Everything that comes before this little word isn’t heard.

Obviously – Nothing is obvious to anyone and often comes across sarcastic.

Honestly – If you have to say you are being honest, it implies you aren’t.

Stressed – It implies a victim mentality. And oh, it’s not a badge of honor.

Busy – This comes across as an excuse. It’s overused and, besides, everyone is just as busy as you.

Sorry – The word implies low self-esteem and it’s sorely overused. Save for when you truly are.

Disclaimers – Anything you say before, becomes the focus: “Don’t take this the wrong way…”

Filler Words – “So, Uhm, Like, You Know, Basically, Right.” Slow down. Let there be pauses in between your ideas.

Just Joking-Only Kidding – We usually aren’t joking. There is a grain of truth so be prepared for the reaction.

Very – When put in front of another word it takes away that word’s power.

Fine – Included in the “fluff communication” category it doesn’t tell the other person much and usually means everything isn’t.

Would – When used as a question is sounds like “should.” Will is a more effective word.

Problem – It creates negative energy and puts people on edge. Call it a challenge instead.

You – Replace with “I” especially during conflict. “I feel hurt” versus “you hurt me.”

Whatever-Nevermind – These words denote a giving up or giving in attitude or perhaps even a lack of patience.

Why? Not only does it sound whiney, it will often get a response of “I don’t know” when asked out of frustration, not to mention a wall of defense. Replace with how or what asked in a genuine and sincere way. Let the kids do the why asking.

Appropriate – See your mother shaking her finger of shame? The condescending word gets interpreted differently. Replace with the word effective.

Over-used Phrases – “It is what it is.” “At the end of the day.” “Boys will be boys.” “Par for the course.” “Threw me under the bus.” Which ever one yours is, attempt something new!

Share your favorite dirty words in the comments below!

  • 25 Apr, 2016
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Thank you ! This list is a valuable reminder for me, plus I shared with my college and post college children so they too strengthen their communication skills.

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