Tip – Avoid the Word “Strive” and Other Wishy-Washy Words

By February 6, 2017 No Comments
scrabble letters as the font with the title as words to avoid and overlayed on wooden titles, the word strive

When we work with our clients to develop elevator pitches, mission statements, vision statements, we have them first develop a Better Tomorrow MessageTM (BTM). The BTM is a short, fewer than 10 words, statement that immediately conveys the benefit of working with/partnering with your organization.

During a recent facilitation session to develop a new mission statement for a non-profit client, several of the executive team members encouraged the group to use “strive.”

The team viewed the word strive as a word that conveyed achieving you goal. We politely  pointed out strive is a word that does not mean, you achieve your goals. In reality, you may or may not.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states the definition of strive as “to devote serious effort or energy.” It says nothing about achieving anything.

In business, like Yoda from Star Wars aptly said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Strive is a wishy-washy word. Avoid wishy-washy words such as strive, hope, surely, chiefly, usually, going to, often, sort of, possibly, and many more.

Words like these reduce your effectiveness when communicating with your stakeholders.

Photography Source:  Original image from DepositPhotos. New creative image © Copyright 2018, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky is the CEO of The Chief Storyteller®. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better workplace outcomes and improved performance with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communication. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, trainer, consultant, and executive communication coach.