Using the wrong word or phrase can make you look unprofessional, unintelligent or even incompetent. Make sure that you aren’t using words that hurt your career or advancement potential. Crystal Barnett, a senior human resource specialist with Insperity recommends steering clear of these words and phrases if you want to climb the ladder at work.
- “Honestly.” You should share feedback, even negative feedback with the boss. However, you want to always have the business and your team’s best interest at heart when you speak the truth. For example, “honestly” criticizing another team member’s work, while praising your own efforts, tells the boss that you will attack others to get ahead. Not a good look.
- “That’s not fair.” Life is not fair; neither is work. You should take truly egregious issues to HR, such as discrimination based on age or gender. However, in most cases, you have to suck it up and do your best, even when you feel you are getting the short end of the stick.
- “This is the way we’ve always done it here.” This is a sure-fire way to to convince others that you are resistant to change. Certainly, some ideas are bad, but you should be considering new approaches and ways of thinking. Otherwise, you won’t innovate or move the business forward.
- “Yeah, but…” Say this after your supervisor asks you to do something or employees propose an idea, and all they’ll hear is the negative “but” that indicates you’re about to shoot them down or argue with their point. If you disagree with something or need to share information, just skip the “Yeah, but,” and get on with it.
- “Yes.” Absolutely, you should say “Yes.” However, it becomes problematic when you say it all the time. If you constantly agree to take on more work, for example, you will struggle to do it all well. Or if you say “Yes” to every employee idea, you will spend too much time, money and resources on bad ideas. You must know when to say “No” to protect your productivity, your team’s performance and the bottom line.
Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 31 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. For more information visit http://www.insperity.com.