Do you communicate like a powerful leader? There are many hallmarks of powerful communication. We discussed a few in our previous post, “Strong Leaders Use Strong Words.” But one phrase in particular bears a more detailed look: the phrase, “I think.”
Leaders who are comfortable with their opinions and ideas rarely use the phrase, “I think” or “In my opinion….” Both of these phrases tend to diminish the impact of what you are saying.
Imagine a president or prime minister saying, “I think we have a plan to get our economy back on track.” REALLY? You THINK it will get us back on track? Wouldn’t it be more powerful to say, “We have a plan to get our economy back on track.”
Or imagine a company leader saying, “I think we can beat the competition on all counts.” Wouldn’t it sound more decisive and powerful to say, “We’re going to beat the competition on all counts?”
Or if you were in a quarterly employee review, which would you rather hear: “I think you’ve done an excellent job…” or “You’ve done a great job.”
So what’s wrong with saying, “I think”? There are certainly times when it’s important to show that you are voicing your personal opinion. But in other cases, it shows you are tentative, that you don’t strongly believe in what you are saying. “I think” can be perceived as a weak response rather than a definitive statement.There are times when a leader can and should voice a personal opinion. But when discussing your business, your plans, your strategy, or your employees, think carefully about whether "I think" is the best way to frame your idea. Do you think you want to be a powerful leader, or are you a powerful leader?