“That’s Not a Terrible Idea…”

As those of you know who have been on the Wow journey for a while, the nuances of language live large for me.

Today, I’d like to look at a phrase frequently uttered by my dear, sweet husband,

“That’s not a terrible idea…”

Now, it’s possible that part of the reason for his tepid response is the daily barrage of ideas he receives from me.

(One of his favorite jokes—mine, too; you have to be able to laugh at yourself—is that the title of his autobiography is going to be, “My Wife: She Has a Better Idea”.)

And while I do applaud the patience with which he takes my ideas in the face like a fire hose, I did recently request a change.

When one of my ideas is pleasing, my request is that he say,

“That’s a great idea!”

Now I recognize that if you are a person who wades in cautiously/prides themselves on restraint this might seem overly enthusiastic to you.

If, however, if you are the person on the receiving end of the response to your idea, I’m sure you hear the difference.

One response hedges its bets. One praises the person betting.

And I think we all know the kind of boss/colleague/friend/relative we’d rather tell our ideas to.


For more on the impact of your words, take a look at “What We Speak Becomes the House We Live In”.