Killer phrases – contradiction without comprehension

We spend a lot of time and money preparing and conducting discourses of all kinds. The involved people have to interrupt their routine, invest time, and go long ways to meet and share ideas. In the end, something should emerge that the individuals would not have accomplished by themselves. And then there is a single person in the group who contaminates the event with killer phrases so that the discussion ultimately tips over due to its counterproductive contributions. These statements have a single quality: they kill the ongoing confrontation with meaningless arguments that simply do not contribute to the conversation. Almost nothing helps against this kind of contradiction without reason.

Maybe except the following measures.

  • Clarify killer phrases and their harmful effects
    Killer phrases are clear disruptions to the actual goal of a meeting. For this, it will be enough to address the subversive character of these statements at the beginning of the session. Attendees are reminded by mentioning the counterproductive effects of these killer arguments, which even don’t contain any arguments. The natural self-control prevents many killers subsequently.
  • Prohibit killer phrases from the outset
    To be sure; these rhetorical terrorists can be banned from the beginning. After clarifying these disadvantageous contributions, one can obtain the consent of all involved parties to refrain from such statements. Nevertheless, if such a statement slips through, the group quickly recognizes it and regulates it almost automatically.
  • Ask back on-the-flight
    If such showstoppers can not be prevented, they can be neutralized with counter questions. As soon as the senseless character of a statement is revealed, this killer phrase loses its effect. This starts with a simple „Why not?“ And gets to the point with „What exactly is wrong?” In extreme cases one could answer „eye-for-eye“ with a counter-killer phrase, such as e.g. „There are always people, who do not understand the whole.“
  • Ignore
    The simplest reaction is to ignore such utterances. In the worst case, the participants will think that the contribution was overheard. If it is not repeated, the statement is unnecessary. Malicious discussants have no shame to repeat their disturbing statements. In this case you can still activate one of the previous measures.

Bottom line: Killer phrases are arguments that have only one purpose – to disturb. If they were not so demoralizing for the other participants, they could be accepted as an expression of resistance. However, as they prevent the progress of the discussion, they must be actively addressed. A good start is to make the harmful effect visible in advance or even to prohibit it. Remaining killer phrases can then be treated with counter questions. The easiest way is to completely ignore them. That way the contradictions without comprehension go pop.

100++ Killer phrases

  • ​​All these years it did not work. And suddenly it should work?
  • All these years it worked. And that does not mean anything?
  • Anyway, that’s not possible.
  • Aren’t we too fast?
  • As an intelligent person, you would have to understand that this is not the case.
  • As everyone knows …
  • Be aware what you wish for – you just might get it!
  • But the figures say something completely different.
  • But they are always so inflexible.
  • Check what killer phrases you use in your communication.
  • Do not express yourself until you have something helpful to contribute.
  • Do not make a fool of yourself.
  • Do you even know what you propose?
  • Do you think that you know?
  • Even for you, it must be clear that this is not possible.
  • Even more capable people did not make it.
  • Everyone knows that this does not work.
  • First, gain some work experience.
  • For that you are too young / too old / too inexperienced.
  • For this you lack the necessary experience.
  • From an objective point of view, this idea is doomed to failure.
  • Have you ever thought about what the effects would be?
  • Here we burn our fingers.
  • How can one be so unrealistic?
  • How do you want to know what our company / our customers / our team needs?
  • How is that supposed to work?
  • How long have you been in this company to want to have a say on this subject?
  • How many times should I tell you that this is not happening?
  • I already know how it ends.
  • I am not responsible for that.
  • I can tell you that you think it’s too easy.
  • I do not think that your idea is bad, but our management will not buy in.
  • I do not think the other people will join the game.
  • I feel like the time has not yet come.
  • I have seldom heard such a crap.
  • I just can not deal with it. I have more important things to do.
  • I know best what is right here.
  • I would have expected more from you.
  • If I were you, I would also make excuses.
  • In the end nothing comes of it.
  • In the past, it has always gone wrong.
  • Is this the best you can come up?
  • It will not work.
  • It already exists.
  • It can not be done in time.
  • It can not work!
  • It is well known that …
  • It is well known that it is not possible.
  • It’s not that new. We have already done that and it was not possible.
  • It’s overwhelms us.
  • Let me say that this is not how it works.
  • My experience / my knowledge speaks another language.
  • Never change a running system.
  • Nobody allows that.
  • Now think about it, even if it’s hard.
  • OMG, you are always so emotional.
  • Organizationally, that is not possible at all.
  • Perhaps, before you speak, shouldn’t you turn on your brain?
  • Reach first my age, and then you will see it differently.
  • Since when are you the expert?
  • So far we have done a good job without it.
  • Sounds good, but that will not help.
  • Stop it, nobody will buy this.
  • Tell me – do you know the rules in this house?
  • That does not belong here.
  • That does not change anything.
  • That has neither hand nor foot.
  • That is basically correct, but not applicable to us.
  • That is not of interest to us.
  • That looks pretty good at first glance, but on closer inspection, this is unlikely to work.
  • That may work in France, but not here.
  • That only creates problems.
  • That takes too long.
  • That will never happen.
  • That will not matter – trust my long-term experience.
  • That would contradict our principles.
  • That’s a complicated question.
  • That’s a pretty naïve idea!
  • That’s a stupid question.
  • That’s a trivial issue.
  • That’s far too modern for us.
  • That’s not our job.
  • That’s not true.
  • That’s outdated since a long time.
  • That’s the topic of another session.
  • That’s theory.
  • That’s too expensive.
  • That’s typical.
  • The current situation does not allow any change.
  • The last time it went wrong ten years ago.
  • The way you do it never will be.
  • There are experts for that.
  • There is more important to do.
  • There is no budget.
  • There is no experience available yet.
  • There is no further need to discuss it.
  • There is no reliable information about it.
  • These are all just superficial data and not substantiated information that you reveal.
  • They always take everything personally!
  • They make a great show of learning.
  • They should work and not think. And if they already think, then please only after work.
  • This creates difficulties that no one can oversee.
  • This does not work in practice.
  • This is too much to handle.
  • This is far too expensive.
  • This proposal is as old as Methuselah.
  • This would be crazy, if I’d agree.
  • Time is too short just to talk.
  • To judge that, you lack the expertise.
  • Typically blond/ man/  woman/  American/ German!
  • We already have enough work.
  • We and the company currently have very different priorities.
  • We are not allowed to do it here.
  • We are not ready to change anything yet.
  • We are not responsible for that.
  • We are thought to be crazy.
  • We can not permanently change everything!
  • We definitely should not rush things.
  • We do not have the time.
  • We do not need new ideas, we need reliable employees.
  • We have always done so.
  • We have long since found a solution.
  • We have never done so.
  • We have no time and no money for experiments.
  • We have no time for that.
  • We should better leave that out.
  • We should reconsider that.
  • We should wait a bit longer.
  • We will come back to it when the time has come.
  • We will never do it that way.
  • We will not succeed.
  • We’ll talk about it another time.
  • What fool did put a bee in your bonnet?
  • What is important here will not be determined by us.
  • What should be so special about it?
  • What were you thinking?
  • What will the others say?
  • What you are saying is really not interesting to anyone.
  • Who ever had this idea is absolutely out of touch with reality!
  • Why are you reacting so aggressively?
  • Why do you always get so worked up?
  • Why have others not done it yet, if your idea is so great?
  • Why? It is working!
  • Without wanting to stifle the discussion, …
  • Wow, there is someone with really good idea.
  • You again with your crazy ideas.
  • You always provide the same thing.
  • You are completely wrong.
  • You are probably overwhelmed?
  • You are probably underutilized in your area of ​​responsibility.
  • You are too old to judge the case properly.
  • You are too young to judge the case properly.
  • You can not ask like this.
  • You can not have a say.
  • You can not really judge that.
  • You can not talk to them.
  • You did not even study.
  • You do not have the competence for that at all. Let better the specialists do it.
  • You do not know what business performance is all about.
  • You do not need to talk any further. I do not do that anyway.
  • You have no idea anyway.
  • You have to respect the tradition.
  • You have to understand that!
  • You have your head in the clouds!
  • You know everything better, right?
  • You really do not know how to have a good time.
  • You really have time.
  • You see it too practical!
  • You simply lack the necessary vision to assess the situation.
  • You still have a lot to learn.
  • You will not convince anyone with your idea.
  • You will understand later that this is not the case.
  • You, too, will not be able to ignore the fact that …
  • Your ideas have already been better.

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