Workplace Communication

The Most Dangerous Word in the World

When you read what the most dangerous word in the world is, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised. When you saw the subject of this email, you probably thought about words like:

Hate, no, or can’t, 

and I agree those are dangerous words. However, I think the most dangerous word in the world is SHOULD. Here’s why – “Should” leaves everything hanging, it’s all about unfinished business. It’s like having something on your to-do list that you never check off. When I say:

“I hate broccoli,”
“No, I won’t go to the movies with you,” or
“I can’t go any further,”

at least I’ve made a decision and can move on, or let the issue go.

dangerous wordThe word “should” means you still want to do something, or know it would be a good thing to do, but by labeling it a should, you allow it to be delayed (and to hang over your head) indefinitely.

“I should go to the gym,” “I should get started on my taxes,” or “I should talk to Dave about the problem,” is indecisiveness at its worst. Especially when the thought stops there.

This week, focus on how many times you say “should” and instead, take a stand and decide that you either WILL or WON’T, so you can move on. If the thing you “should” do is important, then make a commitment that you “will” do it and decide when and how you’ll get it done. When you do, you’ll be able to cross off a lot of unfinished business from your life’s to-do list.

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