I was reading an article yesterday about the overuse by women of the word “just” and how this weakens their credibility and perceptions about their leadership ability. The article by former Google executive, Ellen Leanse, calls for a heightening of awareness by women of their reliance on “just” and the tendency to do so significantly more than men.
While the word “just” can also be used to emphasize or insist — as in “Just do it!”– it is more typically used by women as a word to avoid sounding too assertive. We learn to do this with many words. Even adding “I think” to the beginning of a sentence rather than simply stating what we think can reduce the impact of and conviction about important ideas.
I’ve written about disclaimers and aligning actions that women use when speaking in They Don’t Get It, Do They? which was recently rereleased on Kindle. It’s now available for free to Amazon subscribers and only $2.99 otherwise. If you or someone you know could benefit from noticing how language lowers women’s chances of gaining respect and obtaining deserved promotions, the link is here.
Actually, “Just kidding!”