Better to remain silent than to say any of these things - Digital Tool Factory blog

Better to remain silent than to say any of these things

Lost TreePeople use some phrases to make themselves feel better, not to add anything to the conversation. Using these phrases annoys everyone in earshot and decreases motivation to fix the underlying problem.   My preliminary list:

  1. Any sentence starting with “I need” – you want, “need” is an attempt to manipulate someone from a position of weakness, and that is how they will think of you in the future-weak.
  2. “In the real world” – where else does anyone live?  By saying this you just make excuses for your own failures.
  3. “In reality”, or it’s evil cousin “In actuality” – All you say about yourself is that the previous thing you said was not true, which means that you have no interest in describing matters well.
  4. “I didn’t have time” – You chose to spend the time on something else, don’t apologize for putting something else first.
  5. “But we know more about X than we ever have before” – Possibly true, and probably not meaningful.    Citing unspecified knowledge is a manipulative appeal to authority.  If you had a good reason, you would be sharing it.  If you are not sharing the reason, it is probably not good.

That is my preliminary list.  Can anyone thing of any other counter productive phrases?

Creative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney


This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


Written By Steve French


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