Have you ever had a word sneak it's way into your vocabulary and with time you finally begin noticing that you say it? This happened to me recently with the word "just" - I became aware that I was tagging "just" on to "JUST" about everything (yes, that was planned there!)
I did some research on the context of “just” and how this word truly has more detrimental force than you might think. Check out this post from Business Insider. It’s an interesting perspective on the word and the weight it can carry, especially for females in leadership roles.
“Just checking in to get a status on that…” Preceding anything with “just” is almost apologizing for what you’re doing and taking an automatic subordinate stance. There is no apology needed for how you do your job and get things done. You can follow up with someone without the “Just wanted to follow up on the [insert whatever it is you’re following up on].” Just as when speaking to someone you should have good posture and hold your head up confidently, so should your written words come across as strong and confident as well.
Once I picked up on the usage of the word, I began to realize that I tagged “just” onto almost everything and that’s when I decided to perform a JUST-ectomy, a complete removal from my vocabulary. This is harder than you would think; it means demonstrating the self awareness to stop mid sentence, back up and re-state what you were planning to say, only removing “just.”
My point in sharing? I wanted to give a personal story from my own life that really demonstrates the subtle ways we undermine our own power and authority. We all do it if we’re not aware. That little four-letter-word addition, without my knowing, can downplay what I am wanting to say and take away from my emphasis or point.
I encourage you to be on the lookout for the subtle ways you might downplay or reduce your message by adding words that do not help you convey your thoughts. If it’s unnecessary, leave it out. Concise and to the point can be strong!
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O or check out her website www.linseyrainh2o.com.