Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / JUN. 17, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Words Not Made for the Workplace

Speaking from heart and being frank is a virtue, but not always. There are places where you need to constraint yourself. This is especially true at your workplace. A casual off-the-cuff remark in a business or luncheon meeting is all that it takes to land a person in trouble if not done well. It has all the ingredients to show your character in poor light, break a cozy relationship and even rob you off a pay hike or a promotion.

Ask any leadership guru and they will tell you – the way you act, how you look and how you speak will reveal your leadership qualities. Every opportunity to speak is also an opportunity to enhance your image at the workplace. So make best use of it to your advantage. This said; there are also words and phrases you shouldn’t be using anyway. They are potentially damaging because, they confuse the listeners, convey messages you did not intend to and damage your overall personality.

Here are some potentially damaging words that can cause discomfiture to the listeners. They should be avoided at all cost.

  1.     “It is not fair”. If someone in your office got a raise and you didn’t, you might want to use it, but don’t. Remember that injustice is all around us and you are not alone at the receiving end. A better way to tackle an injustice is to document everything you have to say and be a little proactive. By documenting you show others in the office how intelligent you are in arguing. It is good for everyone. 
  2.     “I don’t get paid for doing this or it is not my job” are words you need to say goodbye to. Instead see how well you can accommodate a work that is not really yours. You get an opportunity to learn, it shows you care for others and finally it proves you are a team player. By refusing, you are actually detaching yourself from the mainstream.
  3.     “I think…” is yet another set of words that people in workplaces need to avoid using. Instead replace “I think…” with something more positive, “I know well…” for example is both positive and builds confidence. A trailing negative thought shows that the user lacks confidence in him or her. When you speak, be positive, say things like “I will…” or “I believe.” It is not only positive but also reassuring. 
  4.     “I will try,” though commonly used in workplaces is a phrase you need to avoid. Nothing can be more confusing than saying this. If you can, say “I will do it.” It is sure to remove any confusion and what is more the person at the receiving end is assured of delivery. That way you build a trustworthy relationship and it means you care for the person requesting a favour from you.
  5.     “The guy is a jerk,” “This job stinks,” or “this company is not worth working” are words you shouldn’t be using. If the company is not worth working for, then, how come you are still there? Learn to respect your company, your peers and those around you. Never exasperate, it shows you are simply helpless and without any ideas. It can work against your own interests. Instead, explore some ways or words that you can use to radiate the energy in you. 
  6.     “We have always done it that way and we have failed” is again words that you should never be saying. Even if a method or a procedure in your office has failed a hundred times, it is no guarantee it fail yet another time. By using these words, you are shutting the doors to potential success, especially if you don’t have another methodology for the task on hand, even if it means you going to do it for the 101th time.
  7.     “Impossible, no way I can do it,” “I have exhausted every trick I know” are words that only pessimists will want to use. There is nothing like impossible or having exhausted everything in life. An avid learner keeps trying and is always optimistic. He will try a new trick every time something flops. Never throw your hands in exasperation. Not only you are limiting yourselves with this, but you may also be subconsciously damaging the mindsets of those around you. 
  8.     “This is what you need to have done,” or “Why did it not occur to you” are some words best left out of your workplace. A better way of saying is “Give this a try, I know you will win.” These are words that sprout out of a leader. It shows, you know what the solution is and you are in control of everything. It is also more positive.
  9.     “Guys, now…,” though a commonly uttered word in workplaces shows that the person using it is not a professional. Why not try to say something like “Gentlemen, now…,” for example. It is more professional and respectful. Always remember, that you are not just speaking to people who are seated opposite to you. Your discourses can sometimes be at your boss, who is not around.
  10.    “Don’t be silly…, I am too busy…, not now…, get lost…” are but a few phrases that can potentially draw flak to yourself. It can leave a bitter taste in those who have no option but to hear you. Switch to using polite words and make a request, even if you have the authority to order people around.

The powers of words are enormous. It can build confidence, win respect, make you a leader, or get you fired. Know which one to use and when to use.

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