Mark’s Blog

Twenty odd years ago we had a rule for my team at work. It went like this:

“When we make a suggestion, put forward a point of view or an idea, as part of a discussion, brainstorming session, etc, it’d be great if we could avoid starting with something like:

– Just to be a devil’s advocate …

– I’ve got an idea no one’s thought of …

– Here’s an obvious idea we’ve overlooked …

– I’ve got a more realistic idea ….

– I’ve got a practical suggestion …

and their variations.

It’d be great if instead, we could simply make our suggestion or, if appropriate, start with something like:

“My idea is …”; “I think …”;  or “I reckon ….”

The openings to be avoided don’t particularly add anything so can be left out.

But more importantly, they can sometimes be seen as – and in some cases might even be meant as – a bit of a put-down of others and their contributions.

Okay, that’s it. If you’ve got a few expressions you think are best avoided – especially at work – please let me know.

All the best, Mark.

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