“Maybe” Adds to Uncertainty To An Already Uncertain Workplace

Have you ever made a request of someone and they responded with a “maybe,” or a “may be?”

Such as, “I maybe can get there before the meeting starts.” Or, “I may be able to get that to you before your deadline.”

“Maybe” reeks with uncertainty.

“Maybe” provides wiggle room for someone who doesn’t want to hold themselves to a commitment.

This is “Unpower Communication.”

There will always be times when we’re going to be uncertain.

The world is an uncertain place.

There is much more uncertainty in the world than certainty.

Too many of us default to “maybe” when we could easily make a commitment.

Often we choose not to because we want that flexibility.

Most of the time we use ”maybe” as a qualifier because its better than saying, “that’s not a priority for me and I’m not going to help.”

This is much more truthful, but it puts us in a position of not fulfilling someone’s request, which, in the moment would make the person not like us.

Using “UnPower Communication” comes from low self-esteem.

Using “UnPower Communication” allows us to set the expectation bar low so we can step right over it.

We under-promise in hopes of delivering the minimum expectation.

What if you stepped up and spoke the truth when you can’t commit, letting the other person know upfront they can’t count on you, instead of having them wait and hope?

What if you stepped up and committed to something and held yourself accountable to fulfilling that promise.

Making promises you can’t keep is not a good way to operate, and offering uncertainty without a commitment by using the  “UnPower Communication” of a “maybe” is just as bad.

Please, leave a comment.

One more thought, after reviewing last year’s Power Word Series I decided to re-release it in a year long weekly series call 52 Power Words. You can subscribe for free at http://www.52PowerWords.com.

“Maybe” is “UnPower Communication” #4 in this new series. If you have any words you think belong in my UnPower Communication Series email me at Skip@WorkplaceCommunicationExpert.com and I’ll write about them, if appropriate.

’til next time make it a great weekend & “Communicate With Power!”

Best Regards,


P.S. To have 52 Power Words sent to you weekly for the next year, go to http://www.52PowerWords.com  to subscribe today!

One thought on ““Maybe” Adds to Uncertainty To An Already Uncertain Workplace

  1. Linda says:

    Wow! Talk about hit the nail on the head! I was slammed right between the eyes with this one Skip. Guilty as charged, I find myself very busy and have fallen victim to the “maybe” “cop out”! I don’t think I can say “maybe” again, without feeling guilty of not being truthful. I will watch this un-power communication word from now on.

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