The Break Room

Advice and information about getting the most out of work. Stop in often to see the latest posts from people who know the job market inside-out.

Phrases to refrain from saying, why & alternatives

Jul 1, 2016, 09:16 AM by User Not Found

Being sincere and genuine does not mean blurting out everything that comes to your mind. A level of tactfulness should be maintained at all times especially in the workplace. The phrases that we say affect not only the way people view us, it can also influence our position within the company and limit career growth opportunities. Check out a few phrases to avoid and alternative resolutions below.

Hold Off the Negativity

"It's not my fault."

Casting blame jeopardizes your work relationship with team members, lowers morale and harms the work environment. In comparison, sincerely owning up to mistakes gives a more positive impression. You can also offer an explanation with only the facts, give an account of your role and allow your boss and colleagues to draw their own conclusions.

"It's not fair."

Complaining will make you appear naïve and immature. Be proactive and constructive by asking for clarification and leave off your opinion while you're at it. Instead of grumbling about an injustice, let your boss know you'd like to understand the reasons that led to a decision.

"That's not my job."

A self-serving attitude will limit your opportunities for career advancement. Not only do you show detachment from the work, you present yourself as having little concern for teamwork. You also take part in limiting your growth by doing the bare minimum that is required of you. Instead, do the work and get the credit for it. Then meet with your boss to discuss your job responsibilities. Have those duties officially updated and in the process get a clear understanding of the expectations of your role.

Sound Like You Mean It

"I think…"

Don't reduce your credibility or present yourself as lacking confidence. Give certainty in your speech and show conviction in your ideas and knowledge. Phrases like "I believe" or "I know" are better alternatives to use. If you truly don't know something or feel doubt, instead of taking a stab in the dark you can clarify that you will get back to your contact with the correct information.

"I'll try."

A tentative reply suggests a lack of confidence in your capabilities and a chance of failure. Take ownership and commit yourself to the task. Replace the uncertainty in your statement with, "I will." If you know a situation or task is impossible, come up with and give alternative solutions instead.

Which of these phrases do you often use at work?

Load more comments
New code