Some days, navigating the general mood of the office is a little like shark diving—you know it’s dangerous, you know you need to be careful of a misstep. To keep you safe and attack-free, here are three phrases to keep out of your conversations at work:
1. That’s not your/my job
Ouch. We all need to be clear about our professional roles, but completely shutting someone down, especially a direct report, never makes for a stronger team. Redirecting and offering other ways to help are a lot more effective.
2. Shoulda, woulda, oughta.
Talk about finger pointing and blame laying. These self-deflecting and blame-placing phrases will be the quickest way to tear down a team and paint you in a bad light. If there’s responsibility to accept, accept it. If there are things to be done, do them. Excuses weaken your credibility in the office.
3. Ending phrases with questions like “don’t you think?” or “is that okay?”
Ugh. Avoid being the office doormat by avoiding the need for approval and reassurance after every decision you make. Turn these wimpy questions into bold declarations by using statements instead. Try “the second option is a better choice” versus “the second option is a better choice, don’t you think?”.