In a world where poor language and slang is continuously slung around, employees who communicate articulately can be challenging to find. When found, they tend to be the first to move up into leadership positions.
Communication is something that can make or break a person in the workplace. The ideas you generate will either thrive or perish depending on how you present them to the decision makers.
If you want to get ahead at work, stop saying these ten phrases immediately:
1. Uhh, Um, Like:
At Marketing Eye Atlanta, our team is always trying to improve each other. One example is counting how many times someone uses “uhh”, “um”, or “like” when they are speaking. It is truly devastating when you are the one to be called out for it, but it immediately makes you re-evaluate how you others are portraying you. These filler words make you seem less confident, less professional and overall less intelligent. Cut them out of your vocabulary ASAP!
2. Is that okay?
If you ever want to be considered a leader, you need to cut this question out entirely. Asking for confirmation makes you look insecure. Not to mention, you are giving someone else control over your actions. Instead, try saying “let me know if you have any questions”. This statement will showcase your competence while still allowing you to have control in the conversation.
3. It’s not my fault
To put it bluntly, no one cares if something is your fault or not. Your boss and colleagues don’t want to hear a pride driven response like “well, that isn’t my fault”. No, they want a solution to the problem at hand. Instead of defending yourself, ask how you can help fix the issue. Showing your willingness to find a solution will prove to be much more successful in a teamwork environment.
4. That's not my job
No matter what industry you work in, this phrase is guaranteed to infuriate your employer. If you are caught saying it, expect to be on their bad list for a while. While the statement might be true to some extent, it is your job to help out the team when needed. The only thing this statement will do is make you seem negative and lazy.
5. I don't know
Whether you are speaking to your boss, a colleague, or a customer, “I don’t know” is never an acceptable answer to a question. Instead, offer input on what you do know or refer to someone who might have a better answer. If worst comes to worst, Google is an astonishing creation. If you don’t know the answer, find it! Simply saying “I don’t know” communicates to others that you lack confidence and that you're an unreliable source for future reference.
6. Whenever is convenient for you
Being considerate is always appreciated, however, if you are scheduling something with a coworker or future client, this may give them the wrong impression. It's never great to seem too available. Instead, show a bit of demand and spare everyone some time by providing specific dates and times that you will be available.
7. Does that make sense?
If you ever want to be portrayed as confident, stop asking this question. It implies that you need others to reassure you of whether your communication is effective or not. Instead, encourage their engagement by asking “what are your thoughts?” If they are confused, they will let you know.
8. I think…
When your boss or college asks you a question, they are looking for a solution, not what you speculate might be the solution. If you want to be a leader, you need to have an answer that doesn’t start with “I think.” It will only suggest that you are not hesitant in your response and will diminish your credibility. If you are unsure, get back to them with the answer once you are sure that you can portray the message confidently.
9. This might be a dumb question, but…
Well, if you weren’t expecting to sound intelligent before you most certainly aren’t going to now. This statement drives all of your credibility right out the window before you can even get your thoughts out. If you like your ideas enough to say them, choose powerful and enthusiastic words to describe them!
10. I'm sorry to bother you
You shouldn’t feel the need to approach anyone at work with an apology. If you are in need of assistance or have a question, that isn’t something you need to say sorry for. Instead, confidently approach your employer and coworkers at appropriate times. If you interrupt them while they are busy, then you can extend an apology.
Communicating well is a challenging responsibility for many people. Sometimes, it can even be a company-wide issue. Whether employees aren’t consistently communicating the company’s message effectively, or departments aren’t seeing eye-to-eye, poor dialogue can hinder a business’s overall success.
Could your business use higher profits, higher sales, higher customer loyalty and improved productivity? Maybe its time to invest in your company’s culture and internal communications strategy. Give the experts at Marketing Eye a call today to get started.
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