Good Words Gone Bad

Ever say “good luck” to somebody before a business presentation, or sports tournament? We all do! There’s nothing wrong with that, and yet it may imply that they need ‘luck’ in order to succeed. Travis Bradberry, founder of TalentSmart® and author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0®, suggests a better option:

Better options: “I know you have what it takes” or as Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her book Option B, try saying “You got this!” In this way we reflect somebody else’s capability, preparation, and planning and that the impending good results belong to them, not Lady Luck.

Travis also observes that we may, with the very best of intentions, say “You look tired” (in our most sympathetic voice). Looking tired is a sad face, droopy eyes, slouched posture etc. He suggests a

Better option: “How are you Feeling?” (and then truly slow down, listen, and unpack their response with curiosity and less advice or agreement).

In addition, Travis wrote sometimes in a conversation we may say, “As I said before..” which implies that they weren’t listening or they weren’t paying attention. And BTW, as you repeat yourself, they have become consumed with the thought that you are mad at them, mocking them, embarrassing them, or just don’t like them.

Here’s my Better option A: “I may not have said that right, please let me rephrase…” Accept responsibility beyond what you say and be more responsible for what they hear. I had managers say to me “I told them….” or “I was very clear with them…” And my response was, I am less interested in what we said, and more interested in what they heard.

Better option B: Try saying, “Could you please re-play for me what we just discussed, as I may not have covered the most important points.” If they play back what you were trying to express properly and are on track – good. If not, go back to Better option A above.

Here’s another example:

After someone thanks us for something we did, we commonly say, “No problem” or “no worries.” And that is actually negative language. We take the negative word “no” and the negative word “problem” slam them together and say “No Problem!” It says we thought you might be a problem – turns out you weren’t a problem – and so no problem.   

Better Option: Ever been to Chick-Fil-A, and they get your order right or give you napkins and ketchup and you thank them? Their response is – “My Pleasure.” It is a deep part of their training. That is positive language. Try saying my pleasure or try using other positive language, “I am glad to” or “Happy to help” instead of the negative language, like “No worries.”  Our society has conditioned our mind to negative language that we don’t even realize its impact as we say things, but our mind sure picks up on things said to us by others.

Ok, a few more:

“If you really want to.” This may appear to be accommodating at first, and may not be genuine.  Whenever you mention this to someone, or someone says to you this phrase, you’re actually being noncommittal. It may sound like you’re going along with the plan, but inside, you’re not all that thrilled.

Better option:  “You seem to have conviction for this issue, let’s do it your way.

“Thanks in advance” or “Please and Thank-you.” This is one that gets under my skin. It feels so condescending to me, like they don’t have time to be polite. They say thank-you before I have done anything, like I’m forced to do something, and they thank me without even appreciating my effort, and at that I point, I have applied no effort! That’s not polite, it is manipulative.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful.” The mind does not think in negatives. The next thing out of someone’s mouth following this phrase, is most assuredly disrespectful. If you say, “I have no interest in throwing you under the bus” or “I have no interest in getting you in trouble.” What are they thinking about? Right – the exact opposite.

Better option: “I want to be encouraging and was thinking…” the next thing you say will be more positive less disrespectful

How about  “Oh, I was just kidding.” No, their hard-hitting personal attack joke was real, and it went over badly in a crowd, and they are doing damage control. Hard-hitting humor, as we all know, can be very hurtful.

And the double whammy, this phrase makes us feel even worse, like we weren’t smart enough to see they were only kidding. This phrase is a compound insult.  

Catch phrases of gratitude are bad. Slowing down and being real in our gratitude is Good.


  1. Thanks for your post. I want to write my opinion that the expense of car insurance varies greatly from one policy to another, mainly because there are so many different issues which play a role in the overall cost. For instance, the brand name of the auto will have an enormous bearing on the price tag. A reliable outdated family auto will have a more affordable premium than just a flashy expensive car.

  2. Commander Viagra cialis 5 mg 90 Tablets Generic Propecia Prix Reel Viagra

  3. Viagra Online Bestellen Online Canadian Pharmacy Levitra generic 5mg cialis best price Viagra Bas Prix Buy Mirtazapine In Uk Cialis Achat En Ligne Belgique

  4. I’m impressed, I must say. Really not often do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you have got hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough persons are talking intelligently about. I am very completely happy that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for something regarding this.

  5. Propecia Facial Hair Growth Comprar Viagra Online Espana cialis tablets for sale Buy Ed

  6. Viagra Uk Retailers п»їcialis Worldwide Progesterone Website Shop Free Doctor Consultation Lisburn Kamagra Jalea

  7. Why Cephalexin In Dogs Cialis Viagra Achat Canadian Pharmacy Viagra No Prescription a vendre levitra pas cher Amoxicillin For Throut Lung Levaquin Et Amoxil Cheap Nexium Prescriptions

  8. – 100 the best private proxies by means of substantial savings + Really speedily procurator serrvers!

  9. hello!,I like your writing so much! share we communicate more about your article on AOL? I require an expert on this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  10. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  11. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.

  12. Buy Propecia Rebate Buy Cyprostol Without Prescrition Viagra Pulmonary Oedema viagra Proscar Propecia Finasteride 5mg Price Comparison Propecia Finasteride Free Cialis

  13. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  14. Sinus Infection Dosage Amoxicillin Comprare Levitra Senza Ricetta Buy Kamagra Quick Delivery buy viagra online 5mg Cialis Price Find Worldwide Hydrochlorothiazide Pharmacy

  15. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  16. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  17. Perfectly written content, Really enjoyed examining.

  18. Thanks so much for the blog post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  19. I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  20. Glad I observed this on google .

  21. wohh just what I was searching for, regards for putting up.

  22. I simply desired to thank you very much yet again. I’m not certain what I could possibly have carried out without those concepts shown by you on this question. This has been an absolute intimidating condition in my opinion, however , noticing your well-written fashion you managed that took me to leap for joy. I’m just happier for this advice and expect you find out what a powerful job you’re putting in teaching others by way of your webpage. More than likely you haven’t come across all of us.

  23. I am perpetually thought about this, appreciate it for putting up.

  24. Aw, this was a very nice post. In thought I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all appear to get something done.

  25. Cialis Jaune Indian Pharmacy Silagra 100 Propecia Face Swelling canadian cialis Viagra Without Prescription In Canada

  26. I as well think thus, perfectly written post! .

  27. Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

  28. this site is my inspiration , very wonderful design and perfect articles.

  29. Buy Private proxies: BEST PRIVATE PROXIES – Exclusive level of quality, Infinite data transfer rate, 1000 mb/s superspeed, 99,9 uptime, Not for consecutive IP’s, Virtually no consumption limits, A number of subnets, USA and The european union proxies – Invest in Now –

  30. Buy top notch good proxies – Fully anon. ELITE private proxies along with TOP degree of protection solely coming from

Leave a Reply