I recently wrote about confronting friction and risk. We’ll throw this one in the friction bucket…
Today a few of the senior members of the management team at my company, including me, agreed to police each other’s use of the words “ah”, “um”, and “like”. Why? They cheapen whatever it is you’re trying to say. They diminish the effectiveness of your message by half.
Whenever one of us utters one of those nasty sounds, it’s up to the rest of us to call it with a subtle signal: a knock on the table, or an obnoxious “zap”. It’s important to be comfortable with periodic pauses in your delivery, and not fill those pauses with cavemen grunts and teenage slang.
As I’ve said before, we can all improve because none of us are perfect.