Killer Phrase(kil’r fraz) – n.
- 1. A knee-jerk response that squelches new ideas; most commonly said by bosses, parents and government officials.
- 2. A threat to innovation.
We are bombarded by Killer Phrases every day. They stifle our ideas, short-circuit creative thinking and undercut the very notion of innovation. They can even talk us out of our hopes and dreams.
The negative voice of “It’ll never work!” has been around a long time. In 1899, the Director of U.S. Patent Office declared, “Everything that can be invented, has been invented!” and tried to close the Office down.
Killer phrases arise from our natural resistance to change. They are those uniquely negative statements that make us think, “Gee! I’d wish I never said that!” and to think twice before we offer the next suggestion.
The result: the average worker only submits one written suggestion every ten years.
Your Personal Killer Phrase Quiz
Check for “YES”:
- Does a little voice inside your head routinely say, “They’ll laugh at me.” When you come up with a new idea?
- Do associates often display a “Gee I wish I’d never said that.” expression after making a suggestion to you?
- Are the words “Yes, BUT…” a frequent part of your conversations with family, friends and colleagues?
- Do you ever immediately reject a new idea because “I don’t have time.” or “We tried it before.”?
- Would you consider the phrase “Put it in writing.” simply a logical way to keep business running smoothly?
- When a child asks “Why?”, do you respond “Because I said so.”?
- 4 – 6 Congratulations! You are a naysayer! Your world will stay the same.
- 2 – 3 Hmmm. Some new ideas might be getting through. Memorize the below list of top Killer Phrases and practice using in your conversations.
- 1 – 2 You’re normal. You belong at our website www.whatagratidea.com.
The Top Killer Phrases
(Click on each phrase to learn more)
It’ll never work!
We tried that before!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
That sounds like something my kids would say!
Ideas are a dime a dozen!
Great idea, but not for us!
It’s not in the budget!
Put it in writing!
I’ll get back to you!
We’ve always done it that way!
The competition will eat you alive!
The boss will never go for it!
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
Submit Your Killer Phrases
We are compiling a list of the Killer Phrases used around the world. Please furnish the details as to the Killer Phrases’ effectiveness and where/when it was said. We’ll post all responses as long as they effectively killed great ideas in their tracks.
Monthly Killer Phrase Caption Contest
What’s the Killer Phrase that describes the above situation?
The winner will receive a $100.00 USD prize paid through PayPal. Along with recognition for your brilliant entry.