Contrarian Statements

Convention isn't always a good thing.

Contrarian Statements

These statements can help excite any conversation by introducing truth, urgency, vulnerability, agency, and empathy. Try them out.

1. I don't know.

Most people don't say this often enough.

2. How can I help?

Try to be of service to others.

3. What exactly do you need from me?

Specificity is exceptionally rare.

4. Please tell me more.

This may allow you to speak less and listen more.

5. Sorry, I need more time.

As Steinbeck once said, "Nothing good gets away."​ Take the time you need.

6. It's fine. Let's try again.

Be generous with your compassion for others.

7. I'm not the right person to advise you on this.

Practice saying no more frequently. It is a muscle.

8. We are in this together.

No one is an island.

9. No.

A truth.

10. Could you explain this to me?

Ignorance can never withstand the power of a question.

11. I trust you.

This is something we all wish to hear.

12. Sorry, I was wrong.

Own your mistakes, so they hold no power over you.

13. What can go wrong with this?

Knowing your downside is extremely powerful.

14. Could you lead on this?

If you did your job right, you are in a room full of leaders.

15. It's my fault.

It's always your name on the line. This is the only owner's mindset.

This thought was inspired by Ankit Kumar, Diwakar Kaushik, and Jaydeep Wagh. Thanks to Bistra Kumbaroska and Palak Kaur Anand for reviewing drafts of this.