Using “like” a lot in sentences is moderately acceptable in social situations (even though you might end up sounding like a bratty teenager) but it can kill your credibility in a workplace. If you want to ditch your love of “like” to appear more professional at work, read on for some practice advice on how to do so.
Business woman speaking at conference image from Shutterstock
Over at The Muse, Aka Frost went on her own personal journey to eradicate “like” from her professional vocabulary as it was preventing her co-workers from taking her seriously. She underwent a four-week experiment on changing her bad speech habit and found that there were plenty of words to substitute in for “like” in various situations:
- Replace “like” with action verbs such as “responded”, “answered” and “commented”.
Example: “He was like, ‘Yes, we can do this'” to “He replied, ‘Yes, we can do this'”.
- For describing moods and attitudes, replace “like” with “I was” or “I felt”
Example: “I was like, annoyed because…” to “I felt annoyed because…”
- Avoid using “like” for comparisons and example and jump straight to using “such as” and “for example”.
Example: “I found a few errors in this report. Like in this column, you entered…” to “I found a few errors in this report; for example, in this column.
- While not ideal, using the word “ah” as a filler for when you’re speaking is better than “like”.
You can read more about Frost’s experiment over at The Muse.
[Via The Muse]