Whether you're in the midst of a boardroom debate, or just trying to earn a colleague's trust, prefacing your statements with the phrase "to be honest" can do serious damage to your credibility. Here's why it's best not to use it.
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It might not seem that bad, but it's the kind of habitual phrase that can slowly wash away any trustworthiness you might be trying to demonstrate. Neil Patel at Entrepreneur explains:
When someone feels the need to assert their honesty, it subtly reduces their personal credibility. What does this statement say about you? Are you typically dishonest? Is it necessary to tell others that you are being honest? "To be honest" is a phrase that can introduce misgivings about your personal credibility.
People use this phrase most of the time when they're trying to emphasise the fact that they're about to be blunt with their statements, but in that case you can just say "to be blunt." Otherwise, "to be honest" can be just as bad a habit as words like "so" and "um."