First, let’s settle your burning question: “It’s not me, is it?”
Yep. It’s you. You and I both fall victim to our own self-centric thinking sometimes. We also both recoil when we collide with the self-centric statements of others.
What are these statements? What 4 statements do we say and hear that are guaranteed to cause (and this is a real medical term) acute irritation of the nerves?
4. Look, just get to the point.
I’m gonna be nice about this one. I know we’re all busy. We all have 5 less minutes than we need to do each duty in our workday. We call them briefings because they should be what–BRIEF! But not at the expense of the story. If we ONLY said the critical phrase without context, you really don’t HAVE information. Life is not a bullet point – take in the background!
3. Don’t trust ANYONE. I mean, trust me, but NO ONE ELSE.
Let’s talk turkey. You stand in a position that puts me and my peers at a critical disadvantage regularly. And you tell me that no one else who takes exactly the same position is reputable. No one at all. But you ARE reputable — because you’re…you. That’s the only reason. Guess what? It’s only convincing you. So just drop the pretense. Say that whatever critical disadvantage I have to sustain is a fact of life. Policy. Routine. Not some act of discerning trust and faith. Who am I? Mowgli?
2. Look at me; if I can do XYZ, anyone can.
Yes, we are all you. We all had your mom and dad, your house, your afterschool activities, your bone structure, your blance and coordination, your college choice, your mentors, your physical trainer, your hairstylist — you see where I’m going here? Whatever it is that you’re trying to make sound easy, you just end up making yourself sound presumptuous. No skill or ability is applicable to the entire human population of earth. So if you want to apply your achievement to the lowest common denominator…well that’s going to u-turn right back to you. The star.
1. You haven’t experienced XYZ so you couldn’t possibly relate, judge, comment or observe!
I think that many of our jobs entail doing exactly all four of those things. For profit. With quantitative references. And contract fees — just sayin. If it’s our job to accurately engage publics who we don’t know from Adam and Eve, then we are ALL capable of comprehending whatever it is you are trying to avoid challenge on.
Now, this is the word of OneJillian. What say you?
Now that you know what’s going to suck the warmth out of the room, are you going to change your ways?