There are a number of phrases that people who are unsuccessful use regularly which should never be said anywhere. Successful people just don’t say these things, because they know the pitfalls of using such negative, patronizing and self-interested terms. If you catch yourself about to say one of these things, think about how it would make you look and sound to others and find a better way to say it.
Here are the top 10 things Unsuccessful people say that Successful people never should:
1. “That’s impossible”
Most things we encounter at work are not impossible. They might be hard or take time, but usually they can be achieved with right amount of effort and resources. Discounting ideas others have is a bad idea. People who use this phrase automatically shut down dialogue and criticism, intentionally, hoping that everyone will agree with them.
2. “I can do it all myself.”
This term is often used by micro-managers, and those who put themselves out as martyrs to work. It implies ‘I don’t need you’ and will not win you any friends at work. Successful people have better ways of engaging at work and they don’t try to show how competent they are. That rarely works. Saying you can do it all makes you look arrogant, sneaky and suspicious, because people will wonder why you don’t want to or can’t work with others. Try instead, “I’m looking forward to doing this, and to getting some help along the way.” Then, if you don’t need it, you’ve still been friendly and demonstrated a willingness to wok with others.
3. “I have a problem with that.”
By saying this, you give the message that you have a problem with the work, and with your colleagues. No one wants to look like they aren’t ready to roll up their sleeves, and get the job done. If you don’t agree with something, come up with a solution and share it with others. You will look like someone who has ideas, and solutions, not just complaints.
4. “Don’t forget the details.”
Telling someone not to forget the details is very patronizing. If you think they will forget, you can let them know you are there if they want to run the details by you. That way you show you have confidence in them and their work, but that you are also there to support them, and if you are their manager, that you will be checking, as you should.
5. “I like my own idea.”
This is a very self-centered view and most people will shut down when they hear it. Even if you think your view is the best, there are better ways to let people know then by stating it. Tell people what your idea is, and ask for feedback. People will feel you care about their view and you might win them around, which you will have to do anyway to be successful. Getting buy-in for any idea takes effort, and it can’t be done by telling others you are right.
6. “I don’t need your input.”
Saying this is extremely arrogant and doesn’t belong in any conversation. Respecting others and their point of view is an essential part of being a responsible adult. It shows that you know how to listen, and to take on board other ideas. Say this at your peril.
7. “I already know that.”
You might already know something, but letting people have their say is as important as hearing what they say. Demonstrate active listening to show you hear the other person and really digest the information. Being flippant towards others is rude, and insulting. No one wants to work with people like that.
8. “Let me check my schedule.”
This non-committal response is all too common in today’s digital world, where people prefer texting to talking to each other. The message you send with this is that you are too busy or important to make a commitment to a time. A better approach is to ask when they are free, and to get back to them as soon as you can, or to suggest a time and then change it if you have to. Making a commitment and keeping it are critical in business and in life. If you don’t, or are prone to cancel regularly, you will soon be dismissed as unreliable.
9. “You must be wrong about that.”
Putting yourself above others is never the right way to behave. Even if you think someone is wrong, you should verify the facts, and if they have made a mistake, let them know you confirmed the info and what you found out, without pointing blame at them. Children point fingers, not adults. You will look silly and immature using this term.
10. “I can’t.”
This is probably the worst offender on the list of never say phrases. Saying you can’t means that others will soon stop asking, because it’s too hard to get you to agree. Some people use this term as a tactic, so they won’t be asked again to do things or go places they don’t want to. But saying yes you can is often the best reply and it shows you are willing to do the work and try something new. Successful people say yes far more often then they say no, because they see opportunities to grow and learn all around them.
Whenever you find yourself about to use one of these phrases of unsuccessful people, stop and think about how you will sound and how you will look.
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