Pet Peeve Phrases

Sometimes I wonder if people really think about what they are saying.  Certain phrases have become so common people don’t even think about how they might be perceived negatively.  Here are a few phrases that make me cringe when people say them to me.

I’ll be honest with you

So you’re not usually honest when you talk to me?  I do understand that the person is trying to communicate that they aren’t going to gloss over negative or potentially devise issues in what they are saying; but I do wonder if they feel they are being dishonest about their feelings or what is really going on during other conversations they have with me.  This phrase immediately reduces the trust factor I have in someone, and that is the exact opposite of what the person is trying to accomplish.

Our people are our most important asset

OK, I’m biased because I’m an accountant, but to me asset equals property (think a computer) or rights (think a patent or copyright), so is this phrase saying that the business owns their employees?  I thought we got rid of slavery 150 years ago in this country. Its fine to say our people are what makes this company valuable, but to say they’re an asset takes the ownership aspect to a different level that just drives me crazy.

They won’t respond to my email/text/instant message

Do you know that phone in your hand can call people too?  Maybe the email never got through; maybe the person doesn’t understand what is being requested or misunderstands and thinks it is a much bigger ask than intended.  It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if you just pick up the phone or get up from the desk and actually talk to someone.

No Problem

I guess you didn’t do anything special for me after all.  When someone says ‘thank you’ they are pointing out their appreciation for doing something for them, for putting them above other things that the person needed to do or could have done.  Saying no problem tells the person they weren’t actually all that important.  Even if the action wasn’t important or wasn’t inconvenient, why is it necessary to tell the person that.  Let them have their moment that someone else in the world showed they mattered.  ‘You’re welcome’ communicates all that and more.

So what phrases do you hear regularly that drive you crazy?

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