Earlier this week, I heard a doctor introduce members of his staff like this: “They will take it from here, because this is above my pay grade.”
What a weird thing for a skilled professional to say. This is a job that is delegated to those who are charged with helping you. Somehow, it’s “above your pay grade”?
This type of false humility happens all the time in the workplace and not only is it right about at “rotten fish” on the stale humor scale, it’s completely insincere. You don’t believe it’s true and neither do I, so who does that leave? Your assistants who have to smile and nod as if it’s not needlessly demeaning to their efforts. “I just want to ironically draw attention to the fact that this is actually beneath me”. That’s the message you’re sending. A true leader, whether you have the title or not, doesn’t talk like this.
A better thing to say would be “for this, I leave you in the hands of my great team, who are here to support you.”
Or “My team is your team, whatever you need, whatever questions you have, they’ll guide you through.”
Always empower your team, especially with how you refer to them. Don’t patronize them. The gap between those two points is enormous.
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.