Use “I” Sparingly

by | Thoughts

“Sir, you took notes today but did not take notes the first four days. Is there a reason for this?”

“I was not taking notes. I was counting the number of times that you used the word ‘I’. In the first hour, the count was 75.”  

Authentic leaders monitor the use of the first pronoun. To incessantly use the word “I” is to place the spotlight on yourself and not another. A good example of this is: “I told you so.” Again, the spotlight is placed on you and not an another.  Out from the crucible of insecurity, another feels that you deem yourself as smarter, superior-and determine to point it out.

What do you do about this? The first thing that you do is examine your writing. This makes it easier to track and adjust the dominance of the use of the word I. Next, have someone record you during your presentation. Then, treat the recording as a was away to monitor the use of the word “I”.  

Finally, find alternatives to the use of the word I. Examples: “your speaker feels…”

“it can be worded this way…”  “On a personal note…” This is hard work that mandates practice. To service their journey, pay the preparation price—use “I” sparingly.

Stephen is the best-selling author of 26 books, including What Do They See When They See You Coming? He has also written countless articles for a variety of publications and has produced multiple audio books and video programs. Stephen has appeared on PBS Television and XM Sirius Satellite Radio. He continues to hold one of the highest invite-back ratios in the speaking profession.