Leaders avoid these two words (except in one situation):
Why? Two reasons.
One: They’re emotionally charged words. Think about the times you’ve used those words. “You never offer to help.” “I’m always on time.” “I never go in without a plan.” “You always run red lights.” We’re often stressed and maybe have a raised voice when we use those words. Emotion and stress produce more emotion and stress, and can shut things down instead of opening them up.
Two: They’re usually not true. Leaders avoid talking in absolutes, because they shut down dialogue and shut out possibilities. Try alternatives like usually, typically, in normal circumstances, rarely, with rare exception, more often than not, and hardly ever. These words may sound political or like you’re hedging, but really it’s keeping options open and dialogue progressing.
Exception: When appropriately using role power in cases of emergency or safety, like “Never climb the lead without a harness” or “Always present your badge at the gate.”
To read the first ten posts about “Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying,” click on the links below.