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A Better Four-Letter Word

by Randall Craig on December 10, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational,

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever been in a conversation when the other person spends more time talking about themselves than the subject at hand? They pepper the conversation with me, myself, and I, assuming that you (and others) are held spellbound by their perspective and accomplishments.

Me has two letters, but it really is the newest four-letter word. And when you use this four letter word, you exclude everyone else from their share of the credit.

You care about yourself – but with the exception of possibly your family and your closest friends, no one else does. They care only how you can solve their problems.

To get others to buy in to your ideas, speak in their context – not yours. Instead of saying “I love to use computers”, say “Solving analytical problems using the computer is very satisfying.” Instead of saying “I am a great salesperson because of my personal brand”, say “Clients purchased $5 million of product last year from our team.” Identify their problems. Use their words. Share the credit.

This week’s action item: Look back at last week’s emails and written reports, and count how often you use the words me, myself, and I. If the answer makes you uncomfortable, then fix it this week as you send things out. When you do this, you’ll be known for a different, better four letter word: team.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)