52 Things We Need to Stop Saying

The Best Way to Learn is from Others’ Mistakes

“I’m going to give you some coaching.”

That was my boss’s opening before he tried to offer some ham-handed advice that was largely unrelated to the issue at hand. Although after that initial statement, there are few things he could have said that wouldn’t have been met with my immediate scorn and derision.

He meant well. It was just a poor choice of words. Which, if you work with people, tends to happen a lot. Generally people mean to say the right thing. But they invariably end up saying the wrong thing.

With that in mind, I started a log in early 2020 of ill-advised statements made at work. Below are my favorites. And if you find yourself venturing near any of them, take heed.

  1. “I have a lot of big plans.” Great. When are you actually going to do something? Don’t confuse intention with action. No one cares about the former until it becomes the latter.

And one more to kick off 2021, with hopefully a much smaller list going forward:

53. “People should just be happy to have a job.” No. We don’t want people to feel happy about simply having a job. That bar is too low. If we can’t offer them worthwhile challenges and opportunities for growth within a positive culture, then we have more work to do.

Enemy of the Status Quo.

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