I have read a couple of articles recently that state there are certain phrases that should not be used in an organisation. For e.g. ‘we have always been doing things this way’. I agree that, sometimes, people in organisations are just ‘brainwashed’ to use phrases that mean nothing but an excuse for them to avoid taking responsibilities. This type of behaviour is typical of people who obviously are too afraid or lazy to be accountable for what they need to be and to take risks. The other phrase that I believe is oversubscribed and overused by managers (or ‘pretend’ managers), is ‘ I hear you’. I am afraid this is just another of those phrases that people pick up from business school and have slipped into the organisations.
What annoys me most is when people use such phrases with such insincerity. To translate to normal language, ‘I hear you’ = regardless what you say, you will do what I (the manager) say. Why can’t people just be truthful and speak their minds? I remember having a conversation with an ex-boss on a piece of research he has delegated to a junior colleague to do (I reckon he is too idle to do it!). In any case, he asked for my opinions and I questioned the validity of the research and the report in which he replied that I was too pedantic and focused too much on the details (in this instance the data). In my exit interview, he told me how much he valued and respected me and my professionalism etc which frankly I would have liked him to be, for once, be truthful such as ‘ I cannot stand your arrogance, your unflinching pedantic views etc’… but sadly that was too much to ask for I guess. I am, however, glad that I no longer work with people who are ‘a sandwich short of a picnic’.