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Beware: 10 phrases off limits at work

What you say at work plays a huge role in revealing your personality and attitude. Sometimes a single word can change the entire game at hand. They can make you sound like a team player or a lazy employee. There are some phrases that are just out of bounds. Be careful ladies!

“That’s not my job.”

This makes you sound lazy, selfish and unconcerned about the company. No matter how inconvenient the request is need to act as a team player. But “This doesn’t mean you have to say yes; it does mean you need to be articulate and thoughtful when saying no,” says Darlene Price, author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.

“I am not sure about this/ I may be wrong, but…”
This actually translates to: ‘Hey, don’t point fingers at me if this idea backfires, I warned you all’! Be confident about your initiatives.

“I’ll try”

These two tiny words do major damage in demeaning your worth. You are hinting that there is possibility of failure in your work.

“It is not fair”

‘The point in avoiding this phrase is to be proactive about the issues versus complaining, or worse, passively whining,’ said Price.

“OMG, how did they get a promotion”
You want want to stay off from office gossip. How would you feel like if someone spoke ill behind your back?

Don’t we always use this as a buffer? ‘I just want to make sure’ or ‘I just think’.  Mohr says “We insert justs because we’re worried about coming on too strong. But they make the speaker sound defensive, a little whiny, and tentative.” Don’t be afraid to be authoritative.

‘Actually, it is better if’ or ‘Actually, I don’t think’. This is just on the brink of being rude, but oh-so politely. According to Carolyn Kopprasch, chief happiness officer at Buffer this hints that the other might be wrong. Be a little positive!

“But you didn’t get back to me”
Why didn’t you badger them until they got back? You need to more authoritative.

“You should have/You could have”

“Chances are, these fault-finding words inflict feelings of blame and finger-pointing,” says Price. This is more constructive: “In future, it would be a good idea if”.

“But this isn’t how it usually works”
Say this destructive phrase and you are automatically the one who is stuck in the past, a rebel to new ideas.  Show eagerness to innovation and changes: ‘Great idea, how is this going to work?’ or ‘Lets look at the pros and cons’.

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Written by HerCareer is a career community of women seeking consult, inspiration, and the tools needed to succeed in the workplace.