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  • Writer's pictureAustin Aloysius Tay

Phrases, Phrases

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Several articles recently stated that certain phrases should not be used in an organization. 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 responsibility. This type of behaviour is typical of people who 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 everyday language, ‘I hear you’ = regardless of what you say, you will do what I (the manager) say. Why can’t people just be truthful and speak their minds? I remember conversing with an ex-boss on a piece of research he had delegated to a junior colleague (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, to 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, 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.

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