A workplace is where you need to make sure not to say some things.
Because words carry special power, words have an uncanny sense to make you look bad even when the statements are true. And worst of all is you can't take them back once they slip out.
I’m just not only talking about unexpected slips of the tongue, off-color jokes, or politically wrong faux pas but those aren’t the only means to make yourself look bad. Usually, it’s the detailed remark, the ones that paint us as non-confident and incompetent that do the most damage.
No matter how skillful you are or what you’ve achieved, some expressions immediately change the way people see you and can permanently pitch you in a negative light. These things are negative signs that they ruin professions in short order.
If you want to know what not to say in your office, here is a list for you.
1. No problem.
When you have done some favour for someone and in return they are saying thank you or someone is just asking you to do some work and in return, you are saying no thanks, you're showing that their request should have been a problem. This gives people feel as though they’ve forced you.
What you should say instead is to tell people that you’re happy to do your work. Say something positive like “I’ll be happy to take care of that” or “It was my pleasure.” It’s a definite difference in language, but also that has an immense impact on people.
2. I’ll try.
Try sounds iffy and hints that you lack faith in your ability to execute the task. Instead, take complete control of your skills. If you’re required to do something, either commit to doing it or try an alternative, but don’t just say that you’ll work because it seems like you won’t work all that hard.
3. It’s not fair.
Everybody understands that life isn’t decent. When you say it’s not fair, it implies that you believe life is considered to be fair, which makes you look naive and immature.
If you don’t fancy to make yourself look bad, you need to hold to the facts, stay productive, and leave your interpretation out of it. For a situation, you could say, “I observed that you assigned someone that big project I was hoping for. Would you care to tell me everything went into that decision? I would like to understand why you believed I wasn’t a healthy fit so that I can work on enhancing those skills.”
4. This is the way it’s been continuously done.
Technology is growing so fast that even a six-month-old process could be old. And when you say this is the way it’s ever been done, not only makes you seem lazy and immune to change, but it also could make your boss wonder why you haven’t tried to fix things on your own. If you are doing things the way they’ve ever been done, there’s almost surely a better way.
5. This may be a silly idea, or I’m going to ask a stupid question, or I think.
These passive expressions directly erode your credibility. Still, if you follow these expressions with a great idea, it suggests that you lack confidence, which makes the people you’re talking to lose faith in you.
Don’t be your critic. If you’re not sure in what you’re saying, no one else will be either. And, if you don’t know what to say try this, “I don’t have that knowledge right now, but I’ll see it and get right back to you.”
6. This will only take a minute.
Saying something only takes a second to ruin your skills and delivers the impression that you rush through tasks. Except you’re going to complete the assignment in 60 seconds, feel free to tell that it won’t take long, but don’t make it appear as though the task can be accomplished any sooner than it can indeed be achieved.
7. He’s lazy or Incompetent or jerk.
There is no sense in making a downgrade comment about a colleague. If your statement is accurate, everybody already knows it, so there’s no necessity to point it out. If your account is incorrect, you’re the one ends up looking like a jerk.
There will always be arrogant or incompetent people in any workplace, and possibilities are that everyone knows who they are. If you don’t hold power to help them better or to fire them, then you have zero to gain by spreading their incompetence. Advertising your colleague’s inadequacy comes across as an anxious attempt to make you look better. Your callousness will surely come back to sting you in the form of your coworkers’ contrary opinions of you.
8. That’s not my job.
This sarcastic expression makes you sound as though you’re only ready to do the bare least required to keep receiving a paycheck, which is a bad idea if you like job safety.
If your senior asks you to do something that you believe is improper for your post, the best move is to complete the duty eagerly. Later, schedule a conference with your boss to address your role in the company and whether your job type needs an update. This guarantees that you avoid seeming petty. It also allows you and your boss to grow a long-term agreement of what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
9. I can’t.
I can’t is it’s not my fault twisting sister. Bosses don’t like to listen. I can’t because they think it implies I won’t. Telling I can’t suggest that you’re not ready to do what it needs to get the job done.
If you can’t do something because you lack the necessary skills, you must offer a different solution. Instead of saying what you can’t do, say something you can do.
10. It’s not my fault.
It’s not a good idea to throw blame. Be responsible. If you had any role, no matter how small, in whatever happened wrong, own it. If not, give an objective, fair explanation of what happened. Try to stick to the facts, and let your boss and colleagues form their conclusions about who’s to blame.
The time you start aiming your fingers is the instant people start seeing you as an individual who lacks responsibility for their actions. This gets people nervous. Some will avoid serving with you altogether, and others will hit first and accuse you when something goes wrong.
11. I hate this job.
The moment anyone hears at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job, it is sad. Doing so marks you as a negative character and takes down the confidence of the group. Managers are quick to get on to no sayers who pull down morale, and they understand that there are always pleased replacements waiting just around the corner.
No word can reduce the value of positive feedback like having it supported by “but.” In most circumstances the word ‘but’ hints imperfection combines a competing element and means that the compliment was not accurate or appropriate. If you plan to add a positive to counter the negative, using “but” is a lousy choice.”
13. See, I told you.
As in, “See, I told you.” If you foretold a positive outcome, and that’s exactly what occurred, you should not have to aim it out for the entire office to acknowledge and surely not by asking everyone to “see, I told you."
When applied as self-justification the word ‘see’ states nothing more than I was right you were wrong. One of the powerful human desires is to exhibit justified, and we will go to great extents to feel as though we were right, even if it is not the most powerful strategy. Sentences that start with ‘see’ usually set up a win-lose position and request defensiveness.”
14. You’re wrong.
We’ve all had moments where we differ with a colleague’s view on something, how they did a particular project or the way they do their workflow. But a curt “You’re wrong” is not working to get them to improve, and it’s only going to get you to look bad.
15. Yes, when you mean no.
If you’re a pleaser, it can be all too easy to fall into the pit of overcommitting to whatever your boss or co-workers ask of you. Think thoroughly before admitting to something about whether you can do whatever is being asked of you. If you can’t, recommend an alternative or just that someone else takes that task on.
16. No to a client.
Never say no to a customer. Fairly tell them what you ‘can do’ for them. ‘No’ is an extremely negative word and should never be used in the sales funnel.
17. I didn’t have time.
We’ve all had a mad day or week when an unforeseen task has passed another plan to the back burner. You understand that it’s just not likely to get something done by the deadline. Right as it might be, you should not say “I didn’t have time.”
Killing these phrases from your dictionary pays returns. They tend to sneak up on you, so you’re going to have to find yourself until you’ve set the habit of not saying them.