KCT

Knowledge Capture & Transfer

Killer Phrases

Written By: berge

From Charles “Chick” Thompson’s book titled “What A Great Idea”.

  1. “Yes, but. . . “
  2. “We tried that before.”
  3. “That’s irrelevant.”
  4. “We haven’t got the manpower.”
  5. “Obviously, you misread my request.”
  6. “Don’t rock the boat!”
  7. “The boss (or competition) will eat you alive.”
  8. “Don’t waste time thinking.”
  9. “Great idea, but not for us.”
  10. “It’ll never fly.”
  11. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
  12. “People don’t want change.”
  13. “It’s not in the budget.”
  14. “Put it in writing.”
  15. “It will be more trouble than it’s worth.”
  16. “It isn’t your responsibility.”
  17. “That’s not in your job description.”
  18. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
  19. “Let’s stick with what works.”
  20. “We’ve done all right so far.”
  21. “The boss will never go for it.”
  22. “It’s too far ahead of the times.”
  23. . . . . laughter. . .
  24. . . . . suppressed laughter. . .
  25. . . . . condescending grin. . .
  26. . . . . dirty looks. . .
  27. “Don’t fight city hall!”
  28. “I’m the one who gets paid to think.”
  29. “What will people say?”
  30. “Get a committee to look into that.”
  31. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  32. “You have got to be kidding.”
  33. “No!”
  34. “We’ve always done it this way.”
  35. “It’s all right in theory. . . but. . .”
  36. “Be practical!”
  37. “Do you realize the paperwork it will create?”
  38. “Because I said so.”
  39. “I’ll get back to you.”
  40. . . . . silence. . .

I don’t allow anyone to use any of these killer phrases in my workshops. As part of the introduction I present the workshop ground rules. One of the rules is that we should have as much fun as possible as we work towards our main objectives. There are many other rules, but I will cover only two other rules here. I give each participant a copy of the killer phrases above and provide five to ten foam balls. Then I tell them that if any one hears or sees an expression from the killer phrases to throw the ball at that person. I also encourage them to throw the ball to the person who comes late, or interrupts, or talks too much, or gets off the main topic. Sometimes we throw the ball to each other just for the heck of it, or when we see that we are getting too serious.