Source: Ziglar vault

These 11 phrases are often a source of confusion when heard by other workers. They are vague enough to where you don’t think you cause harm, but can be interpreted in different ways. Know that these words are ones to avoid when working with others.

1. “It’s not fair ”

This phrase is too often uttered by ungrateful teens, not working professionals. By saying this in your workplace, you look immature and naïve. If you actually do feel slighted by someone you work with, don’t complain about it to others, address the concern to the person you actually have a problem with. Stick to facts and provide examples and speak in a constructive manner in order to best get your point across.

2. “This is the way it’s always been done”

In order to appear innovative and seeking improvements in your own professional development, you need to challenge the status quo. Yes, there need to be standards, but don’t succumb to this statement in order to just sound safe. When you use this phrase, you sound stubborn and opposed to change and progress.

3. “No problem”

Even though you mean well, this phrase comes off as if the person who asked you a favor is imposing on you. There are much better ways to respond, such as, “It was my pleasure” or “Happy to do it.”

4. “I think…/This may be a silly idea…./I’m going to ask a stupid question”

These passive phrases make it sound like you are either clueless or unconfident. Both are equally unattractive characteristics in the work world. If you are unsure of what is being asked, say something along the lines of, “I don’t have that information right now, but I’ll find out and get right back to you.”

5. “This will only take a minute.”

Even though you may be hurrying and try to sound efficient, you come off as someone who rushes through tasks. Say something like “this won’t take long.”
6. “I’ll try”

This is another passive phrase that makes you sound uncomfortable in your abilities. It also makes it sound like you won’t try that hard at all on the task. If you are unable to accomplish a task, provide an alternative.

7. “He’s lazy/incompetent/ a jerk.”

Even though it is tempting to call out horrible coworkers, don’t do it, especially if it isn’t really within your power to do anything about it. You have nothing to gain by advertising their poor qualities. If your remark is accurate about someone, then everyone already knows so there isn’t

a point in saying it. But if it isn’t, you look like the jerk and people will scrutinize your behavior and work.

8. “That’s not in my job description”

Although it is frustrating to be assigned additional tasks on top of your own load, don’t flat out refuse to do it. When you find yourself faced with this situation, it’s best for you to just complete the task and then later ask your manager if your list of descriptions should be verified. You then won’t look petty and you get an update on what is expected of you.

9. “It’s not my fault.”

Never cast blame on others. If you are accountable for your shortcomings, you come off as responsible. If it truly wasn’t something you are in control of, offer an explanation of what happened using only facts and without any emotions in the explanation. That way, if you are telling the truth, your boss and coworkers can draw the correct conclusion in your favor.

10. “I can’t.”

How do you know if you can’t if you haven’t tried it? Offer an alternative at least, so it isn’t apparent that you are actually a quitter.

11. “I hate this job.”

Nobody wants to hear you whine and complain. Don’t be the person that brings down the office atmosphere with your negativity. If you really hate it, then quit and find something that makes you happy. There are plenty of people who would readily take your job if you don’t want it.

 

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