10 Phrases You Should Avoid at Your work

Be it any relationship, communication is very important! 

In the professional world, your communication skills can make or break your career. Professional communication includes having an effective conversation with clients, customers, managers, co-workers, etc. We need to understand what consumers and clients are saying and respond to them in ways that resonate with their understanding. In the professional world, the function of language is to persuade, satisfy, or amend. 

In our day-to-day communication, we often use filler words and informal words like “sorry”, “thank you, “etc. But these words do not work in the professional setup. And, the words we use can affect the people around you and might impact your career negatively. There is a difference between our personal lives and professional lives. Therefore, it is important to maintain boundaries! 

 

Here are 10 inappropriate words and phrases that should be avoided at the workplace. 

 

1) Avoid saying, “I think.”

Why?

It might show that you are not an expert and you don’t believe in yourself.

 

Instead, say:

“In my experience” or “In my knowledge.”

Using these words will help in authenticating your knowledge.

 

2) Avoid saying, “Sorry to bother you.”

Why?

When you use such words, you allow your co-workers or boss to have control over your actions. They might deny listening to you!

 

Instead, say:

“Excuse me, do you have a few minutes to discuss a matter?” 

“Whenever you have a few moments, I would like to discuss something with you.”

 

3) Avoid saying, “Is that okay?”

Why?

Framing confirmation like a question might make you look insecure and under confident. 

 

Instead, say:

“Let me know if you have some questions about this.”

 

4) Avoid saying, “That’s not my job.”

Why?

Even though you might be partly correct about this, saying such a statement shows that you are not a team player and unreliable.  

 

Instead, say:

“This doesn’t fall under my job description. But, if I have to do this work, can you help me prioritize my tasks?”

 

5) Avoid saying, “It’s not my fault.”

Why?

This statement might project you as a proud and under-confident person.

 

Instead, say:

“How can I help you fix this problem?”

 

6) Avoid saying, “I don’t have time for that.”

Why? 

Telling a co-worker or your boss that you do not have time for them can seem rude. It might show that you have poor time management skills.

 

Instead, say:

 “I would be happy to discuss this with you after completing my task. 

Can we discuss this matter around 3 pm?”

 

7) Avoid saying, “I will try.”

Why?

The word ‘try’ can show that you most probably would not do it.

After all,

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.’- Jedi Master, Yoda.

 

Instead, say:

“I will do it.”

And, if you can’t do something because of any specific reason, clearly say “No.”

It is better to be clear rather than leave people hanging by telling them you’ll try. 

 

8) Avoid saying, “Sorry.”

Why?

Using “sorry” in daily conversations can project that you don’t value yourself or your own time.

 

For instance, don’t say:

“Sorry for interrupting” 

 

Say: “Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.”

 

9) Avoid saying, “You’re wrong.”

Why?

Saying this to your co-workers might sound rude. 

It shows you do not want to take responsibility for your actions.

 

Instead, say:

“I disagree and here’s why … what do you think?”

This way, you are straightforward but also open for discussions. 

 

10) Avoid saying, “Am I making sense?”

Why?

You may ask this to check in on your effectiveness, it could backfire and make you feel and sound like an imposter.

 

Instead, say:

“I look forward to hearing your thoughts.” 

 

Here is a quote on communication that sums up the importance of using the correct words at the workplace:

“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”

– Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

Have you used any of these inappropriate words or phrases in your office? 

 

Do let us know in the comments section! 

 

Till then,

Stay Awesome. Stay Productive.

 

– Divas Gupta


By divasgupta   |   November 10, 2021


One response to “10 Phrases You Should Avoid at Your work”

  1. KEVAL SIDDHAPURA says:

    Yes

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