What Did You Say?

Some 31% of respondents to a recent study by VitalSmarts executives Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield said making a catastrophic comment cost them a pay increase, a promotion, or their job.

A study by New York Times bestselling authors and VitalSmarts executives Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield found that 83% of employees have witnessed their colleagues saying something that has had catastrophic results on their careers, reputations, and businesses. The study, which surveyed 775 correspondents, also found that 69% of employees admit to personally making a catastrophic comment.

  • 31% said it cost them a pay increase, a promotion, or their job.
  • 27% said it undercut or destroyed the working relationship.
  • 11% said it destroyed their reputation.

The top five catastrophic conversations

Suicide by Feedback (23%)
Gossip Karma (21%)
Taboo Topics (20%)
Word Rage (20%)
"Reply All" Blunders (10%)

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