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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The most dangerous word to use at work | Brad Hoover, Fortune Management

After fraud, theft, flood, and fire, the most precarious office word is short, deceptively sweet, and open-ended: try.
Reading this article today--the day after the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President Obama's second inauguration--I'm thinking about how weak those two men would have been if their only conviction was to try to do something.

Referring to another context, Hoover writes:

Whether in a job interview, on a resume, or in the office, try simply shows a lack of belief, passion, commitment, and confidence -- all the qualities you need to succeed in today's tight job market.
After describing the effect of that word in work documents, he writes:
While try is the most dangerous word that an employee or job seeker can use in the workplace, there are certainly other "danger words" that also indicate negativity, uncertainty, or controversy at work: someday, if, never, maybe, used to, can't, and excessive acronyms or slang can also doom your chances of getting (or keeping) a job.
And he concludes:
Ultimately, words carry plenty of power in both verbal and written communication. ... When you use words with power and impact, and deliver on expectations, you are sharpening your image, bolstering your potential, and giving your career a chance to shine.
So don't try, do; don't doubt, believe; and don't wonder, act.
Hoover's article is featured today, Jan. 22, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Style: Write Choices, available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.

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