SCORE: You need to avoid 'killer statements'

I started reading a new book this week called "The Payoff Principal" written by Dr. Alan Zimmerman, who has been helping people in and out of business achieve their potential for more than 25 years.

SCORE did an exclusive interview with Dr. Zimmerman, in which he shared some insights into his book.

You say everybody wants the same 2 things out of life. What are they? And why aren't they achieving them?

I've surveyed 100,000 people asking them what they want out of life. By far the most common answer is "I just want to be happy." And the second most frequent response is "I want to be successful." Nothing wrong with either one of those answers. The problem is most people have never truly defined what they mean by "happiness" and "success."

So in my new book, "The Payoff Principle," I ask the readers the most important question they could ever ask themselves: "What do you really, Really, REALLY want?" I then guide them through the process of figuring out how to answer that question.


Your book is called "The Payoff Principle." What do you mean by that?

The subtitle actually says it all: "The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want out of Life and Work."

Based on my 30 years of research, I've discovered that every success has three elements or three secrets imbedded in it, which I've put into a formula. It says that Purpose + Passion + Process = Payoff. Or to put it into one sentence, "When you find purpose in what you do, exhibit passion for the outcome and master the process to make it happen, you produce the payoffs you want, need and deserve." In effect, you become a producer.

You mention the process of connective communication in your book. To achieve connective communication, a person must refrain from killer statements. What are they and how do they get in the way of communication?

A killer statement is anything said to you that communicates the message that I don't believe in you, or your ideas, or your potential. You may, for example, bring up an idea at work and have the other person tell you such things as: "We've never done it that way before … We've always done it this way … You're right, but … We don't have the time, money, personnel or resources to do … That might work in your company, but … and …We tried that four years ago."

I've discovered the 50 most commonly used and most destructive killer statements that will absolutely kill off the motivation and engagement in any workplace. I challenge the people in my audiences to take this list of 50 killers back to their next staff meeting and challenge everyone there to go one hour without using a single one of them. It's tough, but it begins the process of turning their communication process from negative to positive.

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