No-no phrases at work – what should you not say?

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Do you feel that your co-workers sometimes look at you funny? Are you wondering why your managers are not sending the best projects your way just yet? It might be because the language you are using is simply not appropriate for the work environment.

This is why you should take a good look at the “no-no phrases” below before you work on your communication style and iron out the issues you might still be facing in your professional life. Start using them more often and let us know if this change has made any difference in your professional life.

1.“To be honest with you” or “to tell you the truth”

This is one of my least favourite things to hear in general. Personally, I feel that especially at work this expression is going to make you sound insincere and the person you are talking to will automatically assume that you tend not to be honest. Avoid using this phrase and you will see how your conversations will flow more naturally and people will respond to you in a genuine way.

2.“It can’t be done”

This is a really negative response that will put those around off from the word go. Even if you might think this to be true, you should still try to phrase this message in a more positive way. If someone asked you to do something it is precisely because they do believe that you can do it and this answer will only make them love their confidence in you. Instead of this blunt answer, you can always say something like “Let me look into some of the options available to us and get back to you.”

3. “It’s not my job”

Many of the things that you end up doing at work might not actually be in your job description and the fear of always having to go above and beyond without  being rewarded or acknowledged can be real. Nevertheless, when a manager is asking you to do something that is not really your job, it might also be because they genuinely believe you are up to the challenge. So before you say no, think twice. This might be the opportunity that will take closer to the promotion you’re looking for.

4.“It’s not fair”

If something is bothering your workplace, it is not a great idea to start looking for fairness. Instead, you can focus on how the issue is affecting your performance and job satisfaction. This approach might prove to be a lot more effective in the long run.

5.“I’ll try to…”

All employers look for someone with a can-do attitude and their confidence can be easily shaken, especially if your answer is always “I’ll try to…” What you want is to be decisive. If you think the timeline suggested to you to finish a project is not realistic, consider presenting a more realistic option. This will be a lot more reassuring than trying to meet an impossible deadline.