Framing is everything.
So, when approaching your staff, employees, volunteers or members, be careful of using “Kill Phrases.”
These types of setup comments negatively influence and/or negate whatever comes out of your mouth next.
1. “With all due respect…”
PROBLEM: people use this as a Get Out of Jail Free Card. A conversational passport to say whatever they want. As if insulting someone is OK if you say this first.
SILENT DIALOG: Oh, great. I bet he’s going to say something disrespectful to me next…
2. “Don’t get defensive…”
PROBLEM: mentioning the mere idea of defensiveness usually causes it.
SILENT DIALOG: Yeah right! Now I probably WILL get defensive about what she says next!
3. “Let me give you some advice…”
PROBLEM: this assumes superiority, even when advice wasn’t requested.
SILENT DIALOG: Um, did I ask for your advice?
4. “Try not to take this personally…”
PROBLEM: creates immediate self-consciousness.
SILENT DIALOG: How can I NOT take this personally?
5. “Don’t take this the wrong way…”
PROBLEM: puts people on the defensive.
SILENT DIALOG: Yep, here comes the insult…
6. “I’m only telling you this for your own good…”
PROBLEM: based on the assumption that the other person KNOWS what’s good for you.
SILENT DIALOG: My own good, or YOUR own comfort?
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SO REMEMBER: framing is everything.
If you can avoid these Kill Phrases, you will be sure to lay a foundation of approachability for the people you lead.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What other Kill Phrases should you avoid?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Post your examples here!
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That Guy with the Nametag
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