“I need to manage my resources.” When referring to a team, this sentence should make our stomaches churn. Yet this phrase is uttered every day, by thousands of business executives, everywhere. Below are the three words that should be dragged out behind the woodshed and shot.
My / Mine
Unless you are a sole-proprietor with no investors, you own very little – if anything – in your organization. Instead, you are a steward of that money. You are responsible for those people. Next time, instead of “my” or “mine”, try these:
- The Company’s / Team’s / Group’s
People are not objects. You don’t own them. If you refer to someone as an object how do you expect them to respond? Yet somehow we always refer to people as resources (Human Resources, anyone?!). Instead of resources, try these:
- People / Person
You lead people, you manage objects (time, money, inventory). Calling someone my manager also refers to me as something that must be managed. Again, you’ve dehumanized me.Instead of “Manager” try these:
- Work Team Lead
- Lead <role> (e.g. Lead Developer, Lead Accountant…)
The next time you think of using these terms, consider the alternatives above. You may find creative and energized people you can lead, rather than a group of owned, objects you must manage.
Question: What other common business words should be shot?