🗣️ Five Typical Expressions - Decoded

For managers, it is particularly crucial to express themselves clearly and unambiguously on the one hand and to understand others correctly on the other.

This is often more difficult than it sounds. Because we all use "coded language." That is, we say one thing but actually mean something else.

This discrepancy between what we say and what we mean often goes so far that we no longer even notice it ourselves. So we use a personal code for certain expressions of our language.

This may sound frightening, but it is completely normal. Difficulties arise when we have different "decoding programs", i.e. when we associate something different with the sender's words than the sender means (whether consciously or unconsciously).

If you as a manager know the most important coded language elements, you can firstly consciously control your own usage and secondly understand others much better.

Here are 5 typical coded phrases that actually mean something other than what the words say:

  1. "I don't have time!"

    This is a classic that I feel I hear at least once a day from someone (and sometimes even from myself).

    The problem: it's a lie. Because we all have "time." We all have exactly 24 hours per day that we can decide how to spend.

    So you always have time. What we really mean by this is that what we "don't have time" for is not important to us. It is not a priority.

    This is because you will always find time for what is really important. Think about your visit to the doctor after an accident. Or when the court summons you to an appointment. Or even just when you urgently need to go to the bathroom.

    So: stop the "no time" lie. Instead, say that other things are more important to you.

  2. "I can't do it!"

    We can do much more than we often want to admit. What we have to do for it, however, is to make an effort.

    That's when it's much more convenient to say that you "can't." The truth is usually, "I don't want to do it."

    You can test this mentally as follows: imagine that someone threatens you with violence if you don't do something. Can you still not do it then, or can you now find a way?

    Tip: The next time someone says "I can't" to you, ask back, "What would have to happen for you to be able to do it if you really had to?"

  3. "It doesn't work that way!"

    This statement is also a classic that I hear often. The point is that almost everything can be done in some other way.

    What it takes is a change in thinking and, in most cases, learning. So the statement really means, "I don't get it."

    So you can well ask back in such situations (also to yourself): "What else do we need to understand to see how it works?"

    Behind this is the fact that much of what we think doesn't work is already working somewhere else.

  4. "I'm stressed!"

    Stress is often a code word for fear. Namely, fear of not being noticed, of not feeling important, of taking the first step, and more.

    We are only stressed when we feel unsafe in a situation. Safety and stress do not go together.

    So when someone says "I'm stressed," they are really insecure or afraid. As a manager, it is important that you get to the bottom of the causes of such situations - even sometimes with yourself.

  5. "I can't do anything about that!"

    This statement means nothing else than "I don't want to take any responsibility for it".

    Because we can almost always "something" about it. Because we always have an influence on our thoughts, actions and mostly also on our environment.

    It is just more comfortable to give away this responsibility than to ask myself how I can influence the situation in some positive way.

    Because if I say that I "can't do anything" about a situation, I give up any possibility to influence it, I am a victim. In most cases, this is not true.

If you decode these five phrases correctly in the future, you will have a huge advantage in leadership and strengthen your influence. And along the way, you can work on your own excuses that you may not have been aware of before.


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