HR Professional - September 2013 - (Page 46)

the last word 10 PHRASES THAT SHOULD BE BANNED FROM THE WORKPLACE FOREVER BY DARLENE PRICE 3. It’s crucial to learn that there are certain words and phrases certain to cause damage to one’s progress. If you want to maximize your success as you climb the career ladder, here are 10 phrases to stop using in the workplace. 1. “I can’t do that”/“That’s impossible.” Even though you may feel this way on the inside, these negative phrases are perceived by others as pessimistic, unconstructive and even stubborn. People want to hear what CAN be done. Instead say, “I’ll be glad to check on that for you” or “What I can do is…”. 2. “You should/could/ought to have.” These words imply blame, finger-pointing and fault. There’s no quicker way to upset someone than to suggest they’re guilty of something (even if they are). Instead, take a collaborative 46 4. 5. 6. approach. “Please help me understand why…” or “Next time may we adopt an alternative approach.” “That’s not my job/problem”/“I don’t get paid enough for this.” If you’re asked to do something, it’s because it’s important. Even if it’s not in your job description, by saying so displays a career-limiting bad attitude. For example, if your boss makes an unreasonable request, reply, “I’ll be glad to help you accomplish that. Given my current tasks of … which one of these would you like to place on backburner while I work on this new assignment?” This clearly communicates priority; reminds the boss of your current work load; and subtly implies realistic expectations. “I may be wrong, but…”/“This may be a dumb/silly question/ idea, but…” or “I’m not sure about this, but…”. Eliminate any prefacing phrase that demeans or negates what you’re about the say. Instead, drop the “but” and make your comment. “I’ll try.” The word “try” implies the possibility it may not get finished. It presupposes possible failure. Instead say, “I’ll get it finished” or “I’ll have it on your desk by 9 a.m.” “I think…”. “Think” and “might” are weak words. These words make you sound unsure or insecure and subtly undermine your credibility. Replace the word “think” with “believe” and strike the tentative “might.” S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 H R PROF E S SION A L 7. “…don’t you think?”/“…isn’t it?”/ “…okay?” To convey a confident commanding presence, eliminate validation questions. Make your statement or recommendation with certainty. Don’t say, “This would be a good investment, don’t you think?” Instead say, “This solution will be a wise investment that provides longterm benefits.” 8. “I don’t have time for this right now”/“I don’t have time to talk to you right now.” Other than being abrupt and rude, this phrase tells the person they’re less important to you than something or someone else. Instead say, “I’d be glad to discuss this with you. I’m meeting a deadline at the moment. May I stop by your office (or phone you) in this afternoon at 3 p.m.? 9. “…but…” The word “but” cancels and negates anything that comes before it. Simply replace the word “but” with “and” for a more positive outcome. 10. “He’s a jerk/lazy”/“I hate my job”/“This company stinks.” Making unconstructive or judgmental statements that convey a negative attitude toward people or your job is a mishap that tanks careers quickly. If a genuine complaint or issue needs to be brought to someone’s attention, do so with tact and consideration. ● Darlene Price, author of the book Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results , uses the lessons learned from over 20 years of working closely with top corporate executives and leaders helping them present themselves and their message more effectively.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Professional - September 2013

Editor’s Letter
Leadership Matters
Legal Words
Embracing Loss: Succession Planning for Sudden Departures
Motivating Gen Y
Looking Ahead 10 Years: Top Challenges Facing HR
Making Connections for Immigrant HR Professionals
Interview with an HR Hero: Rod Jackson, MPP
Off the Shelf
The Last Word

HR Professional - September 2013