Leadership Tip: Stop saying these 2 words!

Leadership Tip of the Week

Here’s a quick little leadership tip.  Have you ever noticed what happens to you viscerally when somebody says “of course”?   Chances are, you’ll get at least a tad annoyed or put off, especially if you disagree or don’t understand what the person is saying.

Those two words — “of course” — are essentially saying, “you surely already know this, or you’re an idiot.”   In a way, when a speaker uses those words, he or she is also wanting you to know they think you ought to know what they are saying.  So why are they telling you again?  (Because you are stupid, and need to hear it again?!)

of course, what not to say, leadership tip

Don’t be like this super annoying guy!

Bottom line, if you care about your emotional impact on people, get rid of “of course” from your communications.  (Note: you might not be aware you’re saying “of course.”)

As the quote below shows, it is almost always unnecessary to use “of course” in your communications…so delete it!

What emerged, of course, was that the magnitude scale presupposed that all earthquakes were alike except for a constant scaling factor. And this proved to be closer to the truth than we expected.”
Charles Francis Richter

Bonus Leadership Tip: Another 2 words you shouldn’t use!

Stop saying “no offense”!!!  Seriously, you might as well say: “Get ready, I’m going say something offensive but that’s your problem.”

leadership tip, don't say no offense, it is offensive

If you are in a position of authority and you say “no offense” you’re knocking 10 points off your credibility score.   People look to their leaders for their good character.  When you say “no offense” you are showing your biases, and showing you don’t really care about managing your biases.

Imagine Obama saying to Putin, “No offense, but Russians really have no business in Syria.”  Or Steve Ballmer saying, “No offense, but our Windows Mobile platform is prettier than yours, Mr. Jobs.”


About Curt Buermeyer

I am the founder and president of LeadPeople. I hope you enjoyed this post and encourage you to subscribe to receive these in your inbox. Thanks for visiting!

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