9 negative phrases you should never say in office

Benjamin Franklin once said “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” This holds ground after so many years and will do so through the eternity. Temptation often give way to negative phrases uttered at inappropriate places.

You spend more than half of your active hours at your workplace. You, sometimes, tend to lower your guard and take your chances in uttering the harmless (?) little phrases, which can make or break your image without slightest of idea to you. Chose yourself – whether you wish to be perceived as a thoughtful, level headed professional; or impulsive, amateurish guy who doesn’t think twice to shoot his ill mannered phrases.

Watch leaders in your organization, they are the ones who influence and motivate you with their carefully crafted communication. The unheard is as important as the words that you hear. It is the art of keeping themselves away from repulsive and negative utterances, which make these leaders stand apart from others.

If you wish to be looked at as a mature professional at workplace, use the language which motivates, inspires, and influence others. Use the language which empowers you and the people around you, across functions.

I thought of listing down some phrases which should immediately be thrown out of workplace conversations. To my surprise, there are too many; but below are some of my favorite (?) ones. They are the most unpleasant words to the ears, and the most damaging to your prospects at workplace. You should vow to strike them off your verbal and written communications.

It is not possible or this can’t be done: Really? Did you mean it? This is like conceding defeat without putting foot on the battleground. You must know that by saying this you slam the door on the face of the listener. This is the final nail with no further fruitful discussions except useless debates.

Believe me, there will be somebody in the organization who will make your impossible the possible. Be the one yourself. No organization wants people who fear to explore the unexplored.

Even if you mean what you say, support it with data and facts. This still doesn’t guarantee escape from damage due to this utterly negative phrase.

I will try: Imagine, you board the flight and pilot announces, “We’ll try to reach to the destination”; you are waiting in the operation theater for critical surgery and surgeon says, “I will try to make this surgery successful”; you order your favorite gadget and the sales executive says “we’ll try to make the delivery on time”. Will you accept “try” in any of your transactions? If not, then why do you make this word the largest used at your workplace?

The “try” implies a strong possibility of failure. The “try” means that you will do your bit with absolutely no commitment for the outcome. The “try” is the absence of commitment. If you can’t commit in your words, you definitely can’t commit in your actions as well.

So, stop trying and commit yourself.

This is not my job or that’s not my problem: The most damaging amongst all of your workplace conversations. Organizations can’t win without mutual help and synergy between various functions and individuals. I am not advising you to jump in to help every soul who comes to you, but the subtle art of connecting and networking most effectively start from a small help.

Even if you are preoccupied with your work, advise some other time or politely express your inability to add value owing to your imminent deadlines.

Remember “This is not my job” can be suicidal for your career.

You should have or You could have: Don’t offer unsolicited preaching without getting into the thick of the situation. This is more of fault-finding and living-in-the-past approach.

You’ll never feel good if your boss says, “You could’ve more proactive in sustaining this business” or “You should’ve started early to avoid traffic” or “you could’ve work smarter”.

The better way to put forth your advice is to shift the approach to future, solution seeking approach. “You should’ve done” can easily be transformed to “I suggest… ”.

Organizations want people with foresight not hindsight; especially when looking back severely hinders the forward looking ability.

I don’t have time or I am too busy: Neither the other person sits idle. You might be honest and straightforward in conveying the dearth of time; but how much ever you try hard; you tend to make the other person feel worthless. None of us want to feel less important than others.

Show empathy. Instead, put the same phrase in other way; subtly suggest another time; and approach the person, as now this is your turn to return the favour.

How he/she gets promoted: Office gossip has never helped anybody promoted to higher positions. The utterly negative attitude towards your co-workers is suicidal to your career.

Help people grow rather wondering on their elevations. The gossip will bound to boomerang on you. Be careful in uttering any words about your co-workers’ elevations or their way of working.

It is not my fault: Easiest way to wash your hands off the mess. By saying this you are projecting yourself as less of a team player and more of a person with narrow minded attitude. Suggest the ways to solutions rather than finding faults and looking for scapegoats.

No organization has the place for people who instinctively run away from issues and put blame on others’ head. You are hired to resolve the issues; not to become defensive at the slightest of problems.

This is all what I can do: You are caught up in mental inertia when you use this phrase. You show your severe limitations of ideas as well as commitment.

Remember, there is no end to what you can do. Organizations win when together everybody explores the potential and don’t limit themselves in their actions and thoughts.

This is not fair or I hate this company or I am quitting: Stop whining and speak sensible. These are loose talks which are ticking bomb for your career. This doesn’t show you on the better side of the behavior.

If you have any issue, talk to superiors, support by facts; but for God’s sake, stop complaining.

Organizations need happy performers not sickening whiners.

The negative phrases are many and it takes conscious efforts to strike them off your list. Stop using them and you’ll see your motivation surging ahead as well as that of people around you.

I am as good (or bad) as any one of the professionals using these phrases. I am working to improve upon it. I urge you also to work consciously and try to subtract these phrases from your workplace conversations.

Yes, I know there is an implied possibility of failure in this “try”. But this is worth giving a “TRY”.

Article Courtesy: biztekmantra.com

Hardeep Handa

Hardeep Handa

I am a seasoned marketing professional. I am ardent reader and avid writer. Management and technology equally excite me. I write regularly in my blog www.biztekmantra.com and www.virginwords.com

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