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What Your Manager Really Means to Say

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From the Tubes — a Management-to-English translator:

That’s very interesting. I disagree.
I don’t disagree. I disagree.
I don’t totally disagree with you. You may be right, but I don’t care.
You have to show some flexibility. You have to do it whether you want to or not.
We have an opportunity. You have a problem.
You obviously put a lot of work into this. This is awful.
In a perfect world… I won’t give you any resources or guidance. Just get it working and get it out the door.
Help me to understand. I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I don’t think you do either.
You just don’t understand our business. I hire experts like you and then ignore their advice.
You need to see the big picture. The CEO thinks it’s a good idea.
If you do want to discuss it further, my door is always open. Go f— yourself.
I appreciate your contribution. Go f— yourself.
We’re going to follow a strict methodology here. We’re going to do it my way.
I didn’t understand the e-mail you said you sent. Can you give me a quick summary? I still can’t figure out how to work the e-mail program.
Cost of ownership is a significant issue. We want all of the benefits and none of the costs.
We have to leverage our resources. You’re working weekends..
Your project is on hold. Your project is canceled.
Wrong answer. You didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear.
You needed to be more proactive. You should have protected me from myself.
I’d like your buy-in on this. I want someone else to blame when this thing bombs.
We want you to be the executive champion of this project. I want to be able to blame you for my mistakes.
We need to syndicate this decision. We need to spread the blame if it backfires.
We have to put on our marketing hats. We have to put ethics aside.
It’s not possible. It’s impractical. It won’t work. I don’t know how to do it.
It’s a no-brainer. It’s a perfect decision for me to take credit for it.
I’m glad you asked me that. My boss told me what to say.
There are larger issues at stake. I’ve made up my mind, so don’t bother me with the facts.
I’ll never lie to you. I’ll lie to you.
Our business is going through a paradigm shift. We have no idea what we’ve been doing, but in the future we shall do something completely different.
Human Resources. A bulk commodity, like lentils or cinder blocks.
The upcoming reductions will benefit the vast majority of employees. The upcoming reductions will benefit me.

Got any more? Post them in the comments!

What Your Manager Really Means to Say by
Authored by: Erik Even