12 Career killing PhrasesEarly in my career I worked under a manager with terrible people skills. People would run from his office in tears. Memories of this guy whizzed by as I read this article in Forbes about “12 career-killing comments.”
In the decades since that job, I’ve tried to get better at interpersonal communications; it’s something I work on every day. Sometimes being a straight shooter can be misinterpreted as being abrupt. (Also, my mom was right about “Think before you speak.”)
Since I’d like to stay in business, I’ve learned not to say: “I’m too busy. I can’t write your case study until next Thursday.” Instead: “I’d be happy to write that case study for you. I can get a first draft to you next Thursday.” The second answer sounds more positive, less confrontational.
Here’s the list by author Deborah L. Jacobs:
- Don’t you think
- Why don’t you
- Not to be funny/sarcastic/critical, but
- That’s (or you’re) ridiculous/stupid/idiotic/boring
- I meant to tell you
- Surely you jest
- I’m pissed
- Who do you think you are?
If you read the article, you’ll benefit from the author’s explanation of why it’s best to avoid these phrases. She also suggests career-enhancing alternatives.
Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, it’s probably worth saying that steering clear of these phrases could enhance your personal relationships too.
Oh, and I would add one phrase to this list: “With all due respect.” In my opinion, when you utter this, the person you’re speaking to hears: “You’re full of crap.”
What would you add?
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