Although most workers know that swearing, slang and insults are all words to avoid at the office, many still routinely lose their professional demeanor with a round of regular complaints, defensive replies or inappropriate compliments. Here is a list of a few common phrases to steer clear of if you want to stay on the professional track at your office and show your ability to contribute to a positive work environment.
Stating that you're bored shows a lack of respect for your workplace. Maybe the meeting you're attending is running a little too long or you're tired of a certain type of repetitive task, but there is no reason to announce your complaint out loud. If it becomes a habit, you come across as a poor team player, and your boss and co-workers may start to see you as arrogant. Maintain a professional demeanor by giving every meeting and task your full attention, and if you have an honest complaint, present it to the appropriate person in private.
That's Not My Fault
It's easy to try to defer criticism to co-workers or situations, but in reality, the blame is usually at least partly yours. Avoid looking like a slacker by listening carefully to criticism and learning from it. Take responsibility when mistakes are made by your direct reports, and accept your share of the responsibility of joint projects. If there's more to the story that you feel you need to share, keep your professional demeanor by simply telling the facts in a dispassionate manner without placing blame.
Whether you're talking to your boss, a co-worker, someone in the mail room or a client, it's disrespectful to say outright that someone is wrong. Make sure you are being a good listener and taking the other's point of view into consideration, and then carefully share your own differing viewpoint when necessary. If it is a situation in which someone is clearly wrong about a fact, offer that correct information with a professional demeanor without making a big issue about the other person's mistake.
She's So Pretty
Complimenting anyone's appearance is unacceptable in most workplaces. This rule also applies to gossiping about someone's appearance to a colleague. Avoid stepping outside of your professional demeanor by keeping compliments to work-related areas. Also, pet names, such as honey, sweetie, babe or dear, are more words to avoid at the office. At best, it's disrespectful, and at worst, it may be interpreted as sexual harassment.
In addition to these examples, be sure to avoid sharing anything that you'd be embarrassed to see in print. Remember that your words may be repeated out of context, and stay away from controversial topics such as politics and religion. If you mind your manners, are kind in your word choices and always maintain a professional demeanor, you're on your way to fostering positive relationships with everyone at your workplace.
Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net