Words are funny things. One word can evoke feelings of disgust, passion, urgency etc. in an instant. I’m not talking about truly terrible or hateful words – words I would never ever allow to pass through my lips. I’m talking about words with common everyday use. Words like moist. I don’t know anyone who likes the word moist. In fact, The New Yorker asked its readers to tweet a word that should be eliminated from the dictionary and moist was at the top of the list. I’m not surprised but if I had my pick of the litter I’d eliminate the word JUST.
Throughout my career I’ve been asked “Can’t you just do this? Can’t you just do that?” JUST is a 4 letter word. It implies that what you are asking will be so incredibly easy, won’t take any time or was something I should have thought of before. When in actuality often the quick, simple change they have asked for isn’t so simple and will take hours of rework (then when they “just” want to change it back…another several hours of rework). Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to try different things and collaborate with coworkers to get the most desirable end result but when you ask a coworker or employee to “just do this” or “just try that”, without even trying you are being incredibly rude. Its use is dismissive of the time, effort and talent it takes someone to complete a task. Consider rewording your question “Would it be possible to do this?” “What do you think about trying this?” This change is just what I need.