Things Successful People Never Say
“Words” are the key component of persuasive communication. Regardless of the audience,
topic, or industry, a leader uses language to influence someone’s mind in order to
achieve a certain result. That is one reason they’re seen as leaders; their words compel
people to follow.
Therefore, if you want to be among the successful people and to be perceived as a good leader, you should speak words and phrases that are empowering to yourself and others.
You should use language that captivates, motivates and inspires. Your communication should reflect clarity, confidence and credibility all around.
There are certain words and phrases that instantly undermine your authority and
professionalism. To speaker these phrases seem like harmless works but to listener they
reveal critical issues.
Let us talk about such phrases that successful people never say in their communication:
“I haven’t had time.”
The phrase puts up a barrier between you and your goals. Everyone has 24 hours a day and
it is only the case or priority. If you believe in the task, make time for the task. If somehow you have not done it already share the plan and time frame you are targeting to achieve it rather explaining why it is late.
“I’am bored with my job.”
With this statement you admit that you don’t love your job and you are tired, or fed up
with your current role and responsibilities. But in reality, regardless of your feelings at a given point in time, your job is still important to the company as well as to you.
Rather one should put is positively as ‘I believe I have even more to offer. With your
approval, I am willing to expand my responsibilities to include…’. Such interaction looks very positive, goal oriented and proactive, rather than passive and uninterested.
“It’s not fair.”
people tend to complain about an action they perceive as injustice. But simply complaining about the perceived injustice isn’t going to change the situation. Rather the proactive approach should be to not to talk about such issues in public but discuss with the appropriate authority with facts, intelligent arguments, solution proposals and let them take that from there.
You just stop thinking about the issue and focus on work with positivity.
“You should have…,” or, “You could have…,” or, “You ought to…”
When one you such phrases with one’s manager, One is definitely upsetting the manager. It is to suggest that he or she has fallen short as a manager and is guilty of something (even if they are). Darlene Price, author of “Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.”, says “Instead, take a collaborative approach. Try something like: ‘To perform at my best, I really need clearly stated expectations. In the future, may we agree to…?’ Or, ‘Moving forward, would it be possible to…?'”
“Does that make sense?”
The phrase is used as an ending statement after one has explained a topic/subject. The use of phrase can lead to perception among the listeners that speaker doesn’t fully understand his/her idea himself/herself. Rather the speaker should use phrases such as “What are your thoughts?”, “Do you need more clarification?” which are forward looking and sets context right.
“That’s not my responsibility.”
Sometimes management, peer, society ask for assistance on a specific task or activity. One may reject it outright using the about phrase but for listener it gives the impression that you don’t want to collaborate or don’t want to participate in initiatives. Rather one should use such opportunities to expand influence beyond assigned job or responsibilities. Even if it’s not your specific duty, stepping up to help shows that you’re a team player and willing to go the extra mile.
“He’s incompetent”, or “She’s lazy”, or “They are not a good team”
There will always be incompetent people in any workplace. Most likely everyone knows who they are. If you don’t have the power to help them improve or to fire them, then you will not gain anything by broadcasting their incompetence or bad behavior. Instead such
behavior (gossiping about others) can be perceived as your negative or complaining attitude. You are proactively putting your own credibility on stake without any reason.
Successful people don’t gossip and they spend their time and energies in much more
productive work. If someone needs help, instead of gossiping, they talk to them directly
and facilitate. Succesfull people never ever talk behind their back.
“Entire system is wrong”, or “Organisation is not maturing” or “Governance is bad”
One thing is sure that no system/individual is perfect. Each system (Industry, Organisation, Government) has limitation and it’s weaknesses. Normal people may have
problems when the work system becomes a little restrictive. Rather than cribbing systems,
successful people work to find a way out. They try to understand the system and they change themselves if the system has reasons for restrictions. If they find system restrictive, they document facts & issues and suggest solution alternatives to system authorities who can review and take the suggestions forward. But they never complain.
“I may be wrong, but…” or “This may be a silly idea, but…”
These phrases are known as discounting. They diminish the impact of what you want to say and reduce your credibility. Your spoken words reveal the value you place for yourself
and your message. So, eliminate any prefacing phrase that reduce the importance of who
you are or what you contribute or what you want to suggest.
Rather you can say with affirmation i.e. ” To increase the time efficiency, I recommend
we conduct this quarterly meeting online”, “I can schedule a meeting to share what my
team has done to improve product quality”.
“Not bad” or “could be worse.”
These phrases have negative outset. Many people use these phrases without even thinking
about what they are saying. They use them very casually.
Instead successful people use phrase appropriately. They are very honest and talk on facts and how to convert the challenging situation into a comfortable situation with team work, new ideas. They spread positivity around which leads to empowerment, motivation to deal challenging situation with conviction and self belief.
“I Just..” or “I think…” or “I feel”
People use filler words such as “just”, “feel” or “think” in sentences i.e. “I think we can try…”, “I just want to check if…”, “I just think that…”, “I feel my team will be good parter…” etc. Use of such phrases / words can reduce the credibility of the idea or thought you want to suggest and make you sound defensive & tentative.
On the contrary your intent might be right & affirmative. So you should say your thoughts as it is without such fillers i.e. “We can try this..”, “I want to check..”, “I believe my team will be a good partner…”.
You can also explore using “I believe..”, “I know this well and you will..”, “I am
Use of this phrase at work place can bring lot of disrepute to your credential. Referring
to a group as ‘you guys’ can be perceived as you being biased or you having complex or
you being detaching to the group and non-collaborative.
If women or member from specific ethnicity or religion or region are present, it can be
received as a slang and can lower your level of professionalism.
To be on right side of positive outset, always Reserve the use of phrase “you guys” for
friendly & casual conversations and never use it in business.
We talked about few frequently used phrases in practice and the ways to deal with those situation differently with positivity. There are more such phrases as well and you need to be attentive and a great listener to observe such phrases when others speak. When you hear how unconvincing these phrases actually sound when spoken by another, it sends a powerful message to your brain. The habit of such observation make you more aware about communication impact. You should always ask yourself how to communicate in those observed situations to put forward an affirmative, positive, motivating, empowering and inspiring step forward.