Five Things Never to Say at Work

award foot in mouth aWorkplace Coaching Advice: Five Things Never to Say at Work
Alan Axelrod, PhD, a learning and communications consultant, was interviewed by Bottom Line Magazine. Five thoughts NEVER to share at work, according to Dr. Axelrod, are:

1) Looks  like I’m working late again!
(Don’t be perceived as a complainer!)

2) I’ll get  to it when I can.
(Don’t question the priorities of your superiors!)

3) I can do  it better alone.
(Don’t be perceived as a poor team player!)

4) I did it. 
(Don’t boast that you did it alone when most successful efforts are team  efforts!)

5)The way I’ve always done it works just fine.
(Don’t be viewed as someone who resists  change!)

We often don’t realize that other people’s impressions of us, even if untrue or unfair or distorted, impact their working relationship with us. In a workplace, these impressions often travel quickly around the office and up the chain–especially if they are negative. These thoughts listed here, while they all could be quite accurate in how you feel, need to be reworded so they aren’t misunderstood and interpreted as they are shown below each one.

For example, “I’ll get to it when I can” conveys an air of being bothered by a request; that one is too busy to do this, and it is an imposition. Better variations might include, “Right now I am swamped, but I am putting it on my list as the very next thing.” Same outcome–you aren’t going to do it right away, but the requester will feel more respected. Another tactic would be to simply get more information about when the information is needed and why. Again, it many not change the outcome of when you do it, but shows that you have an interest and for the right reason may either find an alternative or make a change.


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