Why waste words? Managers who waffle or babble sink their credibility.
To convey gravitas, state your opinions and observations with clarity. Avoid hedging that’s tinged with fear and uncertainty. Bureaucrats leave themselves plenty of wiggle room while leaders speak succinctly and skip the qualifiers.
If you want to warn colleagues about complacency, don’t say, “Many of our competitors show at least some indication of ramping up their sales efforts.” Replace it with, “Our competitors are ramping up their sales efforts.” Delete “many of” and “at least some.”
When asked for your opinion, give it. Now. Don’t preface your response with extraneous information or wordy explanations. Don’t insist that you’re stating a conditional opinion because you “haven’t reviewed all the data yet.”
Make your first sentence or two an attention-grabber such as, “In my view, the law of unintended consequences applies here. So let’s rethink this” or “Every fact pertaining to this issue convinces me we must proceed.”
Spineless communicators refuse to express bold opinions. They might cite the complexity of the issue and unpredictable forces at play. Such wishy-washy analysis leaves others thinking, “I want your opinion, not a dissertation.”
If you love to tell stories, curb your enthusiasm. Long stories are fine when others invite you to share. But don’t launch into unsolicited two-minute anecdotes—or you risk boring your listeners. They’ll tune out within seconds and miss your point.