Powerful people understand that their words carry a lot of weight — so they tend to choose them very carefully at work, and speak in a “healthy way, combining the right blend of confidence and humility,” explains Chris Deaver, an HR business partner at The Walt Disney Company, in a recent LinkedIn post.
Deaver lists out nine things the most powerful people never say in the office. Here are a few of them:
“To tell you the truth…”
Ever heard someone say, “To tell you the truth…” or, “Honestly…” when they’re trying to seem more transparent or convince you of something?
Powerful people don’t use these phrases in the workplace, as they know that they can raise red flags and make people question their honesty, Deaver explains. “Powerful people stick with sharing the truth at all times and in all places without adding conditions or caveats. And they’re loved for it.”
“I work alone.”
“These are fast becoming famous last words,” Deaver says. “Everything is connected now, and powerful people get that, and they maximise their efforts by working with and through others.”
He says powerful people are also not afraid to ask others for help, opinions, or feedback, especially when they’re leading a team. “They don’t let their pride get in the way, which creates unbreakable trust with others.”
“That’s not my problem.”
Powerful people actually like problems; they don’t try to avoid them, Deaver explains. They enjoy a good challenge at work, and love converting them into solutions, he adds.
“They don’t dodge responsibility, but embrace it with statements like, ‘That’s on me,’ or, ‘I’ll handle this.’ When it comes to taking responsibility they dive in first, and when it comes to taking credit they put themselves last.” They choose respect over popularity, he says, “sticking with what’s right over what’s politically expedient.”
Powerful people build up an immunity to doubt, says Deaver. “They realise we’d all live in a very different world if everyone who ever had a big idea followed the bad advice to avoid pursuing it.” Powerful and successful people are almost always willing to explore the “impossible” and live by the words “I can do it.”
“It is what it is.”
The only people who speak these five words at work are those who surrender themselves to circumstances and write off the possibility of changing them. “Instead powerful people replace this with, ‘What if?’ They don’t set limits on what they can change and influence.”
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