Benefits and Compensation

Never Say Never, and Never Say These 4 Things

[Go here for killer phrases 1 to 6.]

7. AVOID: “… don’t you think?”  Or, “… isn’t it?” Or “… okay?” 

To convey a confident commanding presence, eliminate validation questions. Make your statement or recommendation with certainty and avoid tacking on the unnecessary approval-seeking question.  Don’t say, “This would be a good investment, don’t you think?” Instead, say, “This solution will be a wise investment that provides long-term benefits.”  Don’t say, “I think we should proceed using this proposed strategy, okay?” Instead, make a declaration: “We’ll proceed using this proposed strategy.”

8. AVOID: “I don’t have time for this right now” or “I don’t have time to talk to you right now.”

Other than being abrupt and rude, this phrase tells the person they’re less important to you than something or someone else.  Instead say, “I’d be glad to discuss this with you. I’m meeting a deadline at the moment. May I stop by your office (or phone you) in this afternoon at 3:00 p.m.? 

9. AVOID:  “… but …”

Simply replace the word “But” with “And.”  The word “but” cancels and negates anything that comes before it. Imagine if your significant other said to you, “Honey, I love you, but . . .” Similarly, imagine if a software salesperson said, “Yes, our implementation process is fast, easy, and affordable …. but we can’t install it until June. The “but” creates a negative that didn’t exist before, offsetting the benefits of fast, easy, and affordable. Replace the “but” with “and” and hear the difference: “Yes, our implementation process is fast, easy, and affordable, and we can install it as early as June.”  Most of the time, “and” may be easily substituted for “but,” with positive results.

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10.  AVOID:  “He’s a jerk” or “She’s lazy” or “They’re stupid” or “I hate my job” or “This company stinks.”

Avoid making unconstructive or judgmental statements that convey a negative attitude toward people or your job.  This mishap tanks a career quickly. If a genuine complaint or issue needs to be brought to someone’s attention, do so with tact, consideration, and nonjudgment. For example, when discussing a co-worker’s tardiness with your boss, don’t say “She’s lazy.” Instead say, “I’ve noticed Susan has been an hour late for work every morning this month.” This comment states an observable fact and avoids disparaging language.    

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2 thoughts on “Never Say Never, and Never Say These 4 Things”

  1. In some situations, I think think phrases like “don’t you think” can actually be part of building a collaborative environment. It can, of course, also undermine you as lack confidence, etc.

  2. Another: “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” It alienates your staff and makes your superior question your management abilities.

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