๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Filler words

Adding complexity but no meaning

To make your message effective and easy to grasp, use filler words sparingly.

Basic Example

Advanced Example

Um, like, you know: Filler words are everywhere in our sentences and conversations. But fillers can create barriers. They distract from the message we want to get across - and make it more difficult to understand. Fillers add to one of the biggest challenges for people from many different language backgrounds working together: misunderstandings in their daily communication.


Letโ€™s change the packaging so people can see whatโ€™s inside.

How about changing the packaging so people can see whatโ€™s inside?


I think we could maybe change the packaging a bit, so people can kind of see whatโ€™s inside?

Doesn't resonate with

  • People working under time constraints, multi-tasking, or managing with a shorter attention span
  • People from diverse language backgrounds and people with different ways of processing language
  • People whose first language isn't English

Dig deeper

Used sparsely and with purpose, using fillers in team meetings can indicate you prefer a collaborative approach. But when you work with people from different language backgrounds and with different ways of processing language, avoid fillers to make sure everyone understands you.

Fillers can hint at the power dynamics of a social situation. Using a lot of them may signal you're careful not to challenge a group's power dynamic. You have a team member who uses disclaimers and hesitant fillers excessively? Talk to them. Show you care.

Figure: Language barriers are the assumed cause of 25 percent of job site accidents. Source: talaera.com In a 2013 telemarketers study, calls' success rate dropped with the increase of fillers. Dr Frederick Conrad, Royal Statistical Society via avoma.com

In other words

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