I was just working on another blog and I caught myself. I was about to write ‘I feel that communication is…’ Suddenly I realized I had fallen into the language hole that so many women fall into every day, sometime several times a day. I stopped myself, hit the backspace key and simply typed ‘communication is…’. You can go to my last post to see the where I made the change.
It is such a common habit for women to use terms such as ‘I feel..’ to state their options. The truth is, however, it puts the ideas and opinions that follow in the context of an emotion, not a fact. By saying ‘I feel..’ I was trying to soften or preface an opinion. For me it is partially because I have a tendency to be opinionated. Since this isn’t always a welcome trait, I endeavor to soften my tone. However, framing it as something based on emotion weakens the value and conviction of my opinion. Unfortunately it also plays into the still present stereotype that women get emotional at work. We know that’s crap, but that is for another post. By simply stating that ‘communication is…’, I show my point of view with conviction and certainty.
So next time you write an email or present at a meeting, listen for those moments of ‘feeling’ and change your tone. It will add to your credibility and keep the conversation on the facts not the feelings.