Be Careful with ‘Blanket Statements’

It’s easy to make a statement that you believe will have a strong impact and you believe to be true. But before you make that blanket statement, make sure you have something to back it up. Otherwise, open mouth, insert foot.

Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov did just that, claiming that no gay residents lived in Sochi. Of course he quickly had to recant that statement saying “I’m not sure, I don’t bloody know them.”

What can be learned from this?

Avoid blanket statements whenever possible. It’s easy to say the same thing but in a different way that doesn’t open up a can of worms so easily.

Not: “All of our employees are happy with their jobs!”

But: “A recent survey showed that 99% of our employees envision themselves continuing their career here for 5+ years.”

Or: “Overall, I think our employees are happy with their jobs.”

Just because you believe something to be true, doesn’t mean it is. By getting your information from facts (like option one), you have data to back up your statement. Or by indicating that the following statement is just a belief of yours (in option two), you’re not implicating that the statement is true, simply saying it’s what you believe to be true (however, you can make yourself look pretty silly and ill-informed if going this route and it turns out you’re wrong).

Of course, this all boils down to being prepared for an interview – which is a whole other topic for another day!

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