7 Dirty IT Words: Don't Say These In The C-Suite - InformationWeek

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2/26/2015
04:46 PM
Kevin Casey
Kevin Casey
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7 Dirty IT Words: Don't Say These In The C-Suite

Want to win over the bosses? Wipe these words and phrases from your IT vocabulary.
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I Don't Know
Even if it's sometimes the honest answer, 'I don't know' is rarely the answer anyone in the C-suite actually wants to hear. When you're unsure of something, or don't want to say the wrong thing on the spot, you're often better off with: 'Let me look into that and get you specifics as soon as possible.' That conveys action and follow-up. 'I don't know' sounds like inertia or, worse, incompetence.
(Image: Hilary Perkins via Flickr)

I Don't Know

Even if it's sometimes the honest answer, "I don't know" is rarely the answer anyone in the C-suite actually wants to hear. When you're unsure of something, or don't want to say the wrong thing on the spot, you're often better off with: "Let me look into that and get you specifics as soon as possible." That conveys action and follow-up. "I don't know" sounds like inertia or, worse, incompetence.

(Image: Hilary Perkins via Flickr)

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David Wagner
100%
0%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/28/2015 | 12:05:32 AM
Re: Can't
@Broadway0474- Well, i think if you couch it as prioritizing, it looks like smart business. But I'm sure to some it looks like whining. Personally, I think if a person can't tell the difference it is either because you have a reputation for whining or because they'r lousy at their jobs.
David Wagner
100%
0%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/27/2015 | 11:38:32 PM
Can't
The interesitng thing about "can't" is that it is almost never true. I've found "We can but we'll go over budget by 20%" is the better answer. Or "We can, but which of these ten other things on my plate should I drop instead."

Usually that shuts a manager up fast.
David Wagner
100%
0%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/27/2015 | 11:37:05 PM
Re: Also don't say...
@Doug- I don't know. As long as you don't report to the CEO, saying he/she is a turkey might be the fastest way to be popular. :)

I've been in organization where making fun of the boss was just the lunch time hobby. Jus tmake sur eyo are never saying it in email or other recorded media. :)
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/27/2015 | 11:33:02 PM
Re: Um
@banacek- Yes, I have to say I'm taken aback by the "I don't know" thing as well. Except I've seen it. I don't know in some organizations is seen as a weakness. In goods ones it is strength. Personally, the least interesting people I've ever met are the ones who are never willing to say "I don't know."
D. Henschen
100%
0%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2015 | 5:37:36 PM
Also don't say...
Also don't say, "hey, you guys think I should dump stock or buy before the next earnings release?" or "I don't know about you, but I think that new CEO is a turkey!"
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