At the top of the list is “hope”. By adding that one word to a business communication, you’ve communicated first and foremost that you lack confidence in completing, delivering, or accomplishing whatever the topic might be. You have said that you don’t have, or want, control over the outcome. “I hope to have a response for you soon…..” hardly inspires confidence. In the context of Faith, Hope is essential to human life; in the context of business, hope is most definitely not a strategy for success.
There are other wiggle words to be wary of: words like “maybe”, “could be”, “might be”, “should be” all make the short list. They declare that the outcome is in doubt, at least to some degree, and that you’re not taking responsibility for it.
Other wiggle words that relate to the time for something important to occur include such winners as “soon” or “in the near future”. What that actually means depends upon the sender’s and the recipient’s context of time; are we talking days, sometime in the next month, or even longer?
When the right wiggle words are combined, you can end up with the ultimate wiggle: “I hope to receive more information about this situation and should be able to get you something in the near future.” Wow, talk about commitment!
I’m not advising that anyone make hollow promises just to make a situation go away short-term; that can quickly become a relationship disaster. I’m suggesting that it pays to carefully consider what is appropriate under the circumstances and be crystal clear about “what will actually happen by when”. Rather than resorting to wiggle words, instead Manage the When. If you don’t have the answer, there’s nothing wrong with saying so; but it is wrong to leave the other party hanging without any clear idea of what you’re actually going to do.
If you banish wiggle words from your vocabulary, you’ll find it much easier to enjoy the journey!