5 Things NOT to Say to People You Work With

Cover Your Mouth

There are certain common phrases that are used in the workplace that it might be wise to avoid using yourself. These single sentences can undermine your own abilities, or just simply not impress your co-workers or boss. Words matter and the things you say as well as the way you work will be what determines your reputation.

1. “I’ll Try”

Saying that you’ll try implies that what you have been asked to do is something you feel lies well beyond your capabilities. If you’re asked to do something that you aren’t sure that you can do then suggest an alternative or just get the task complete without making it sound like you really begrudge the fact you have to do it.

2. “No Problem”

If a co-worker asks you to complete a task and you reply ‘No Problem,’ it makes it sound as though it should have been a problem and you will leave your co-worker or boss feeling as though they have put you out. Instead you can use more positive phrases such as ‘I’d be happy to take care of that.’

3. “It’s not my fault”

So, something’s gone wrong! It might be tempting to cry out ‘It’s not my fault’ and attempt to lay the blame at someone else’s feet, but it doesn’t do much for your image. Not only does it sound like a child is speaking, no one likes to work with someone that they feel they can’t trust and when you can’t accept responsibility for you mistakes or seem desperate to point out whose fault it is then your co-workers will become wary of you. If you’ve made a mistake then accept responsibility and learn from your mistake, if you haven’t made a mistake but find yourself receiving the blame all you need to do is point out all that you have done right. There is, however, no need to point out what other people have done wrong.

4. “That’s Not My Job”

If you’ve been asked to do something that you feel is not your responsibility then the best thing to do is complete the task you’ve been set, regardless of whether you think it’s your job or not. Use of the phrase ‘It’s not my job’ makes you sound lazy and like you have no concern for the success of the company. If you feel particularly hard done to then meet with your boss and ask them if your job description needs updating to meet the needs of the company.

5. “This may be a silly idea, but…”

If you have no confidence in yourself or your idea then why should anyone else? When simple wording can make the difference and alter people’s impression of you from someone who is insecure and has little faith in their own ability to someone who is self-assured, confident and competent, which words are you going to use?

Are there any phrases that people use in the workplace that really grate on you? Let us know in the comments below.