Read between the lines, people! Read. Between. The. Lines.
You make a comment in a meeting and somebody says, “I don’t disagree.” The person really means, “I completely disagree! Next time, do us a favour and keep your mouth shut.”
You ask if you can set up a meeting about a certain topic (you think it’s important). The person says, “That’d be a great discussion to have…This week is really busy but next week is looking good.” They really mean, “I have more important things to do this week. And next week, I’m on vacation thank goodness.”
You ask a pretty straightforward question. The response is, “It’s yes…and no…” What they’d like to say is, “I wish you never asked me that. You are forcing me to have an opinion. How dare you?”
You peep through the door of a senior manager’s office and say, “Got a minute?” They look up and say, “Absolutely – could you come back in 5 minutes? I just need to finish this email.” Unless you are quite friendly with the manager, what they probably mean is, “Put a meeting in my calendar like everybody else! Some people…”
And my personal favourite:
You show your new idea to a colleague or your boss. They say, “I like your thinking!” The look on their face leads you to believe that they actually mean, “Are you living in a parallel universe?? Or are you on drugs? This will NEVER work here so put it away before you get fired!”