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The March issue of Shape Magazine (an unexpected work resource!)  included a tiny article with phrases that life and career coach, Anna Goldstein, wants you to stop saying, especially at work.

  • I hate: Goldstein says this phrase it too harsh. This phrase should never be uttered in context of a work related plan. Instead, she suggests describing the specific parts of the plan you don’t like.
  • It’s not my fault: This phrase is super defensive. Even if it’s not your fault, this won’t help your coworkers or boss value you.
  • I’m an idiot: Women, and those further down the career ladder, often put themselves down when they are embarrassed about not understanding something, Goldstein says in the article. If you use this phrase too often, your coworkers and boss (and maybe even you!) might start to believe it.
  • I’m confused: This implies the person did a terrible job of explaining. Instead ask for clarification. Don’t be afraid of the phrase, let me make sure we’re clear or let me make sure we’re on the same page or just to clarify.
  • You should have: Again, this phrase is negative and will automatically put people on the defensive. Instead try saying, next time could you.
  • I’ll try: This is a cop-out and similar to the “I’m sorry you were offended” of getting work done. This leaves the door open for failure, Goldstein says. Even if your supervisor wasn’t thinking about you failing at the project, you’ve now added a seed of doubt.

Other words to avoid? Whatever. Maybe. I don’t know (if it’s something Google-able, then Google FIRST). We’ll see. I guess.

What additional phrases would you add?

About Aurora

My father named me after Sleeping Beauty. The princess theme stuck. Unfortunately, the only castle I can claim is the one in Disney Land. These are the musings of a princess without minions, knights or fairy tales. I have to do my own bidding.

The views in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or clients.

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