Most of us have heard the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Sound advice, yet for some reason not practiced nearly often enough. And all too frequently those little comments (“Fred is such a jerk,” “Susan is such a loser,” “Bob is a moron?” “Sally’s lazy,” etc.) will come back to haunt us. You never know when one of those stupid jerk lazy morons is going to hear about what you said. This can really become an issue when you subsequently have to work closely with him (her) – even worse if he ends up being your boss.

Equally important is how these statements reflect on you. In many ways, these statements say as much about the person saying them as they do the person being talked about. Every time you say something bad about somebody, you send the message to people that you’re negative and judgmental. Talk about people negatively often enough, and eventually it will be you who other people begin talking about.

Don’t fall into the trap of being critical of others. The most successful people you’ll ever meet in business, and in life, are the ones who give the best of themselves and look for the best in those around them.

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