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12 Common Phrases That Can Destroy Your Professional Image Unknowingly

Work by Casey Imafidon

There are certain actions that can hurt your professional career. In order to go the long haul with your career, you’ll need to steer clear of the wrong actions, comments, or phrases. You should be focused and disciplined, even if it’s tempting to use these kinds of excuses. Here are 12 phrases that have the potential to destroy your career.

1. “It has always been done this way.”

Things are never static. It is wrongful and uncreative to assume that doing things a particular or a singular way is the definitive way to getting the job done. Try look for ways to better a situation rather than look for excuses to stay on one track.

2. “There is nothing I can do.”

Of course there is something you can do—it is just that you are not inventive and willing enough. Using this kind of negative phrase could give off the impression that you are pessimistic, passive and despondent.

3. “That meeting was really bad.”

This is a personal opinion, and your opinion should be kept to yourself when it comes to these types of things. Plus, how can a meeting be really bad when you are in attendance? Perhaps you didn’t do enough to make it exciting and productive.

4. “Can we get it over with?”

This phrase means you are not willing to be bothered or engaged in such a business activity. Every issue that comes your way should be addressed with an optimistic attitude.

5. “You guys!”

Such phrase can be said casually during a friendly conversation, but not during a professional conversation. Phrases like this are slang, which could demean your professionalism. It would be best for you to use a phrase like “your organization” or “your team” instead.

6. “It’s not fair.”

Instead of complaining and whining, why don’t you deal with what made you feel treated unfairly in the first place? Nothing is actually fair in our world, and you have to be prepared for that in your professional career.

7. “This is a silly idea.”

When did you become the most seasoned professional to condemn and affirm ideas? You can’t be judgmental and condemnatory as a professional. You have to offer an alternative or assert a recommendation rather than pushing an idea aside and saying it is silly.

8. “I am too busy.”

Such phrases could make the other person feel irrelevant. You do not have to act more important than something or someone else. Learn to foster positive relationship. Try saying, “Let us discuss this by 4 p.m. Could you perhaps stop by my office later in the day?”

9. “I will try.”

Such a phrase already signals a possibility of failure. It is better to admit if you can follow through or not. Also, using negative phrases could mean you are the kind of person who doesn’t commit him or herself to anything worth going for.

10. “You should have…”

This phrase is more of a fault-finding phrase rather than a problem-solving phrase. It sounds like you are thrilled about the person’s failure rather than his or her success. You shouldn’t try to make anyone feel guilty or judge them for their mishaps. Focus on how you can improve the situation by saying, “to ensure we get things done, make sure you bring this to my attention immediately.”

11. “The new guy/lady is so hot!”

This phrase can be taken for a sexual innuendo. It is okay to appreciate another person’s beauty or handsomeness, but that expression should not be done in a professional environment so as not to make others feel uncomfortable in the workplace.

12. “Do you believe what he/she said?”

If you are uncomfortable with what someone said or did during a particular situation, why don’t you confront the person directly and question their words or actions? You don’t need to gossip or make utterances about the persons action behind their back.

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