Some words or phrases you NEVER hear a really smart person say!

Smart people do not day these ten things.




Certain phrases carry special power—they make you look bad even when  the words are true. Dr. Travis Bradberry shows you which 10 phrases to  avoid.

  1. “This is the way it’s always been done.”  Technology-fueled change is happening so fast that even a six-month-old  process could be outdated. Saying this is the way it’s always been done  not only makes you sound lazy and resistant to change, but it could make  your boss wonder why you haven’t tried to improve things on your own.  If you really are doing things the way they’ve always been done, there’s  almost certainly a better way.
  1. “It’s not my fault.” It’s never a good idea to cast  blame. Be accountable. If you had any role—no matter how small—in  whatever went wrong, own it. If not, offer an objective, dispassionate  explanation of what happened. Stick to the facts, and let your boss and  colleagues draw their own conclusions about who’s to blame. The moment  you start pointing fingers is the moment people start seeing you as  someone who lacks accountability for their actions. This makes people  nervous. Some will avoid working with you altogether, and others will  strike first and blame you when something goes wrong.
  1. “I can’t.” I can’t is it’s not my fault’s twisted  sister. People don’t like to hear I can’t because they think it means I  won’t. Saying I can’t suggests that you’re not willing to do what it  takes to get the job done. If you really can’t do something because you  truly lack the necessary skills, you need to offer an alternative  solution. Instead of saying what you can’t do, say what you can do. For  example, instead of saying “I can’t stay late tonight,” say “I can come  in early tomorrow morning. Will that work?” Instead of “I can’t run  those numbers,” say “I don’t yet know how to run that type of analysis.  Is there someone who can show me so that I can do it on my own next  time?”
  1. “It’s not fair.” Everyone knows that life isn’t  fair. Saying it's not fair suggests that you think life is supposed to  be fair, which makes you look immature and naïve. If you don’t want to  make yourself look bad, you need to stick to the facts, stay  constructive, and leave your interpretation out of it. For instance, you  could say, “I noticed that you assigned Ann that big project I was  hoping for. Would you mind telling me what went into that decision? I’d  like to know why you thought I wasn’t a good fit, so that I can work on  improving those skills.”
  1. “That’s not in my job description.” This often  sarcastic phrase makes you sound as though you’re only willing to do the  bare minimum required to keep getting a paycheck, which is a bad thing  if you like job security. If your boss asks you to do something that you  feel is inappropriate for your position (as opposed to morally or  ethically inappropriate), the best move is to complete the task eagerly.  Later, schedule a conversation with your boss to discuss your role in  the company and whether your job description needs an update. This  ensures that you avoid looking petty. It also enables you and your boss  to develop a long-term understanding of what you should and shouldn’t be  doing.
  1. “This may be a silly idea …/I’m going to ask a stupid question.”  These overly passive phrases instantly erode your credibility. Even if  you follow these phrases with a great idea, they suggest that you lack  confidence, which makes the people you’re speaking to lose confidence in  you. Don’t be your own worst critic. If you’re not confident in what  you’re saying, no one else will be either. And, if you really don’t know  something, say, “I don’t have that information right now, but I’ll find  out and get right back to you.”
  1. “I’ll try.” Just like the word think, try sounds  tentative and suggests that you lack confidence in your ability to  execute the task. Take full ownership of your capabilities. If you’re  asked to do something, either commit to doing it or offer an  alternative, but don’t say that you’ll try because it sounds like you  won’t try all that hard.
  1. “This will only take a minute.” Saying that  something only takes a minute undermines your skills and gives the  impression that you rush through tasks. Unless you’re literally going to  complete the task in 60 seconds, feel free to say that it won’t take  long, but don’t make it sound as though the task can be completed any  sooner than it can actually be finished.
  1. “I hate this job.” The last thing anyone wants to  hear at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job.  Doing so labels you as a negative person and brings down the morale of  the group. Bosses are quick to catch on to naysayers who drag down  morale, and they know that there are always enthusiastic replacements  waiting just around the corner.

10.  “He’s lazy/incompetent/a jerk.” There is no upside  to making a disparaging remark about a              colleague. If your remark is  accurate, everybody already knows it, so there’s no need to point it  out. If your remark is inaccurate, you’re the one who ends up looking  like a jerk. There will always be rude or incompetent people in any  workplace, and chances are that everyone knows who they are. If you  don’t have the power to help them improve or to fire them, then you have  nothing to gain by broadcasting their ineptitude. Announcing your  colleague’s incompetence comes across as an insecure attempt to make you  look better. Your callousness will inevitably come back to haunt you in  the form of your coworkers’ negative opinions of you.

Jake and Woody

Jake and Woody

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