Dec 12, 2021 | Blog

7 Common Phrases that can kill your credibility

Howard Freeman

Howard Freeman

Don’t destroy trust and erode confidence with colleagues and clients alike by using these expressions that will ruin your credibility.


We all use common expressions in everyday conversations that we don’t realise can come across as insecure and even dishonest. To make matters worse, we may repeat these phrases in numerous conversations throughout the workday.

By doing so you may kill your credibility without realising it. The people you are trying to impress don’t like these phrases. We all know what we want to say and we want to get our message across with as much impact as possible. why not check to see if you are using some of the expressions below.

These common phrases won’t help you communicate effectively.. They can send doubts to the person or people you are talking to. You may be communicating the exact opposite of what you intend to. The result may be that you’ll achieve the very opposite of what you intended to do.

To sound more credible, please don’t use the following phrases

Just a Thought

This phrase kills your credibility because it undercuts your suggestion Instead of saying something like “just a thought” ask a question. This might be something along the lines of “have you thought about (add your suggestion here)” It’s a better way to express your thoughts and comes across in a way that gets the other person to think. While your intention is correct, this seemingly harmless phrase can ruin your credibility.

To Be Honest

What? Were you not honest before? This common expression is said all the time, and you may not realize it. “Honestly” or “let me be perfectly honest with you” are alternatives to “to be honest.”

You don’t have to add this phrase to your conversations. It only brings up that you may not be honest at other times. You don’t need to qualify your statement with this phrase. Eliminate it and remember that less is more. You plant seeds of doubt in others when you say this meaningless phrase that doesn’t add value to any conversation.

You May Already Know This

Think before you speak. How do you know or don’t know they know a topic? It’s always best to avoid the curse of knowledge and assume that people don’t’ know what you know. You don’t need to add this throwaway phrase.

If you think someone knows something, take a different angle or approach to your point of view. You may use this phrase to sound accommodating. However, it doesn’t help you or the person you are speaking to. People don’t mind hearing your new thoughts on a topic that has been talked about a lot.

My 2 Cents or In My Opinion

Calling your point of view an opinion weakens your statement. It comes across that you are biased toward specific things. People like reasoned arguments and points of view. “My 2 cents” or “in my opinion” are filler phrases that are not needed. So don’t use them.

Instead of saying this phrase, try using, “I believe…” Take a stance and pause. The people you are speaking to will like the pause than a meaningless phrase like this one. The pause can be very powerful.

This is a Stupid Question

It might sound like a cliche but no question is stupid. If you believe you have a valid question, then you should ask it. You may ask a question that other people may have. This phrase is self-inflicted so again, don’t use it.

The people you are speaking to will discount your words if you add the word “stupid” to something. Do your research on a topic and ask a smart question. Don’t flag to others that your question is dumb or stupid. Let them be the judge of the question.

I’m Not Sure

If you say, “I’m not sure, but I think we can…” If you say this, you be doing yourself a dis-service. You may be confident in your point of view, but it could come across as you are not confident. This will effect your credibility.

If you want to sound humble, tweak your language. Don’t say, “I’m not sure.” Eliminate this expression because it screams, don’t listen to me right now. Jump into what you think. Others will listen to you if you present your ideas with some thought.

Correct Me If I’m Wrong

Be in no doubt that prospective clients will! What? This phrase is all about showing others that you are uncertain in what you are saying. This weak language will encourage others not to care about your point of view. You may want to sound humble, you will just sound weak.

If you use this phrase, you can hurt your credibility on a topic that you are an expert in. Leave this expression out of your presentations and conversations. The best way forward is to provide your perspective. Let the others decide if you right or wrong. Don’t give the impression that you are hesitant about a topic because others will notice. Particularly when you say this phrase. Talk and explain why.

And finally…

Avoid these phrases as they will undermine your message. and ruin your credibility. These expressions are pointless and worthless and will damage your credibility.

When we help businesses with their GDPR, owe use plain and simple language. We don’t use negative statements or pointless phrases. With us, you will have simple, clear conversation which will help you under your privacy requirements.

If you would like a clear and simple conversation then call us today on 03333 22 1011 contact us here or email us here.


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