Having a job is fantastic but office politics, not so much. Have you ever said one thing but meant another? If you don’t watch your words in the workplace, a miscalculated sentence could mean the difference between daily drama and a calm and peaceful working environment.
Here are a few tips from Surf’s School of Shine
on some words you should avoid saying at work to sidestep potential pitfalls while make you even more professional than you already are.
Women are particularly guilty of this one. Saying, “just checking in to see if you managed to make the deadline?” in an email, or asking someone “I just wanted to know…” implies a justification of the request, and in a way, apologises for it. Confident leaders ask for what they need, in clear and simple terms. And justify their requests by explaining the reasoning behind it in a factual manner. They don’t use the word “just” because it makes them seem the request seem harmless or unimportant and as if you’re inconveniencing the person. You don’t need to apologise for doing your job. Just stoppit.
That’s not fair.
“That’s not fair”, a complaint often levelled in kids playgroups, has no place in the office. If someone else gets raise, when you’ve been working harder, rather focus on building a case and a set of facts to back-up your reasoning behind why you also deserve a raise. Don’t say, “that’s not fair” to your boss, because it will make you sound like a sulky child, which will not work in your favour in the long run. Life is, sadly, not fair. But you can work hard at handling the matter professionally and unemotionally at work to get recognised and hopefully, rewarded.
That’s not my job.
We all know that old saying “teamwork makes the dream work”. And this is SO true at the office. Your attitude will determine your career a lot more than your education will, so invest in having a can-do attitude at the office. If your superior gives you an unreasonable demand, it’s not what you say but how you say it that will make all the difference. Don’t say, “uuugh, I don’t get paid enough for this” while you roll your eyes. Rather say, “of course I can, I am currently managing tasks x, y and Z. Which one shall I place on hold while I get going on this new task?” This approach clearly communicates a helpful and team-oriented attitude while reminding your boss of your current workload and to help set realistic expectations.
For more wise words on how to ace your interview, click here.