I recently wrote about some things you should never say in a job interview, but it doesn’t stop there. Trying to impress shouldn’t end when you land a job offer. It should continue throughout your working life. The trouble is, it’s much easier to damage a reputation than to build one.
One especially easy way to do that is with a slip of the tongue. Try to avoid that by thinking about the implications of these (unfortunately) common workplace phrases that are actually things you should never say at work.
“We’ve always done it like that.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: You’ll seem lazy. Instead of being the one saying this, try to be the person suggesting a new idea.
“This may be a stupid idea but…”
Why you shouldn’t say it: If you think it’s stupid, why should anyone else take you seriously? Have some confidence in yourself and others will have confidence in you, too.
“I’ll do what I can.” / “I’ll try.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: As Yoda would say, “Do or do not. There is no try.” This type of phrase has the same problem as the one above. Be confident in what you can do and if you really think you can’t achieve something, discuss alternatives.
“That’s not my job.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Saying this advertises to everyone that you just want to do the bare minimum, collect your paycheck and go home (as soon as possible). Completely unreasonable requests aside, do it. If this is happening too frequently, then it’s time to have a conversation with your boss. But notice that I said conversation, not petulant one liner.
“Can you just…”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Given that you’re asking someone to do something for you, you shouldn’t belittle the effort they’re making with a word like just. Replace it with please.
Why you shouldn’t say it: If it’s so quick, just ask the damn question. If it’s not really quick, then ask the person if they have time to talk to you.
“Wouldn’t you say?”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Appending phrases like this to your sentences is known as hedging. It means you are seeking approval and being overly cautious. Instead, make your statement with certainty.
“It’s your fault.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: Blaming people doesn’t fix a problem and it will also damage your relationship with them.
“That won’t work.”
Why you shouldn’t say it: It’s just plain negative. Instead, look at how it could be made to work or what could be done in its place.
Featured Image: Flazingo.com
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