This week, we look at what phrases make you sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about, how you can explain what you do for a living without boring anyone to death, and what it takes to introduce yourself when you find it awkward to do so.
These the top stories you loved in Leadership for the week of 09/04:
1. These Expressions Make You Sound Like You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About
If you’re a manager, you might worry about sounding too controlling, but there are times when softening your language hurts your credibility. In fact, certain phrases can even make you sound less knowledgeable than you actually are. For example, saying, “I’m not sure, but” just for the sake of appearing modest isn’t doing you favors.
2. How To Answer The Question “What Do You Do?” Without Boring Anyone
Only a few jobs warrant no further detail (teacher, doctor, accountant) when someone asks you that question. Many jobs aren’t so clear cut, but people aren’t always excited by a lengthy explanation of your confusing analytics role. But there are ways to make explaining your job sound more interesting, and this week we learned a few tips.
3. I’ve Been A Googler, A Screenwriter, And A Bartender–And I’ve Ditched The Idea Of A Day Job
For those who want to make a living from doing something creative, the path usually goes like this: get a “day job,” work on your art on the side, then quit your job once you can support yourself through your own work. But for Ty Sheppard, that never happened. Instead, after accidentally falling in love with PR while working to become a writer, Sheppard came to embrace his dual career as a storyteller across multiple fields. In his own words, here’s how he made that happen.
4. Meet The Millennial Who’s Trying To Save The Labor Movement With A Facebook For Unions
Unions might be dying, but one 29 year old wants to save them–through a social media network connecting workers all over the United States. After getting frustrated with antiquated technology as a temp at Teamsters, Larry Williams Jr. decided build a platform that’s now known as UnionBase. As Rick Wartzman reports, Williams’s dream extends beyond revitalizing labor unions. “He wants not only to amplify workers’ collective voice, Wartzman writes, “but to actually facilitate collective bargaining on a grand scale.”
5. The Best Way To Introduce Yourself In Five Potentially Awkward Situations
Introductions can be awkward, especially if you’re in a situation where you need to establish credibility quickly. Leadership coach Sylvia Baldock recently shared with Fast Company‘s Michael Grothaus how to come across with authority and get the other person interested right from the get-go. One thing you probably shouldn’t do? Interrupt an existing conversation to introduce yourself.