10 Things Not To Say At Workplace

Do actions speak louder than words always?  Does your behaviour matter more than what you say? Words are no lesser important than actions. What you say, how you say and what you do not say carry a lot of weight at your workplace. For Rudyard Kipling words are ‘the most powerful drug used by mankind'; Aldous Huxley compares words with X-rays as ‘they’ll go through anything'; and Mark Twain says ‘the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter’. Such is the power of words. The way you communicate your ideas and expression can create a good impression or shatter your image. Careless words will make people respect you less. Whereas good, strong and positive words will make them love you. Feeling baffled? Read on.not to say at work

The question is what words to use at workplace. The list of such words will go on and on. Rather you should know what words not to use, what not to say at work. If you want people to love you and feel comfortable working with you, you must avoid certain words, phrases or sentences reflective of over-confidence, dominance and ill-behaviours. Sometimes certain things may seem normal to you as a speaker. But if you place yourself on the listener’s position, you will come to know the difference. You may notice a big difference between the words chosen by a good leader, who is positive-minded, proactive and possess good collaborative spirit and a manager whose orders are followed by employees due to fear and not respect.

So whether you are drafting an e-mail to your boss, giving your ideas during a sit-down conversation, discussing project issues with your juniors, casually talking with your co-workers during breaks, you must be careful in delivering your words. Here is a list of 10 things you should limit yourself from saying at workplace:Not to Say at Workplace

1. “It’s not my work”: Sentences like “that’s not my problem”, “it’s not my job”, “ask him/her for this problem, why me?”, “I am not paid for this” are really harsh. This attitude clearly indicates your detachment from fellow workers and their work. A good team member must be a part of other’s success. Your colleague may genuinely need your assistance; so you must try to look into the matter. Another example may be when your manager wants you to learn some new task. Remember learning, relearning and unlearning are keys to successful work.

2. “Oh God! I am so bored”: Being bored means you are not interested in what you are doing. It creates a bad impression on your boss who may doubt your performance later. Talk to your boss in a positive light that you want some new projects to maintain your productivity.

3.  Am I understood? Powerful people never use interrogative sentences like “am I making sense?”, “does that make sense?” or “are you getting it?”. These types of words may make others think you have a bossy attitude. Again these may also mean you yourself are confused or irrational. A better way of asking may be something like “would you like to share your thoughts?” or “let me know if you have any doubts”.

4. “That’s not possible”: “I can’t do this/that’ or ‘this is something impossible’ are phrases used by people who seek to excuses for not completing any hard task. Your manager can easily notice your laid-back, pessimistic and hopeless outlook when you make such utterances. “Let’s see what I can do”, “let’s discuss the matter and try out new ways” etc. can be better replacements for such negative phrases. Good leaders or employees hardly doubt things and thus willingly explore new situations, new problems.

5. “I hate my work”: Ban this type of sentence while at work. Badmouthing any co-worker or saying something like ‘I hate this company/ manager/ job’, “my job stinks” can jeopardise your image. Whoever may be the listener, whatever may be the issue or what circumstances you may be facing, refrain from using such phrases.

6. “But I sent it in an email”: What if the other person didn’t reply to your mail? Can’t you follow up with another mail or phone call? Don’t make this an excuse to blame the other person. Remember ego problems may give rise to serious issues at workplace.

7. “I didn’t get enough time”: Even if you are a productive employee, such sentences may make your boss feel that you are not serious about your work. You may be really busy with various projects and running out of time. That is absolutely okay. What you can do is to ask your boss for their help in prioritising your tasks.

8. “We have been doing this that way only”: Doesn’t this sentence reveal a conservative and close-minded approach? Your boss will always want you to approach problems with a fresh outlook. If you are stuck in the past, how can you be creative and innovative? Show your eagerness by saying something like “That’s seem quite interesting. Can you explain in detail?”

9. “You should have…”: We all love people who speak eloquently. If you want to nurture your good impression, don’t preface sentences with words like “you should have…” or “you could have..”. This is a judgemental, fault-finding approach which is not acceptable in a workplace that fosters collaboration and team spirit. You can go for sentences like “If something like this happens in the future, I recommend…”.

10. “It is what it is”: Instead of saying “it is what it is”, which sets limits on one’s abilities and desire to change something, say “What if?” or “Let me see this once again”. This means you are not surrendering to circumstances and trying to bring in some change.

Never use words and phrases like “you guys”, “actually”, “kind of”, “sorry, but…”, “just”, “I hate him or her”, “I don’t need the money” etc. which could be career-limiting and even get you fired. Be professional in whatever you do and whatever you say- that should be your work mantra.

Don’t Shy Away from Asking for a Hike

Every employee wants a salary hike. A pay increase acts as a motivating factor. He can work with great enthusiasm and positivity. Asking for a pay hike can be a daunting task for many. Don’t get unnerved; because you are not alone. Many employees who are already serving their company for years and are posted in higher ranks, find the task difficult. You may be shy; you may be an introvert; you may get tensed or simply don’t know what to say during negotiation. Instead of delving deep into the matter, you may read the following tips that address the relevant topic.ask for hike

If you are an employee who is doing real hard work and proving beneficial to the company, you must not shy away from walking into your manager’s or boss’s cabin and ask for a pay hike. But before taking this big step, you must be aware of some basic rules like:

  • What is the best time to take the plunge? It is not a great idea to wait for the annual review which rewards with small hikes on an average. Based on your good performance, you may also plan to talk to your boss well ahead of the performance review cycle.  Usually an off-cycle discussion can result in a salary adjustment. Ideally, you must take the plunge once you have achieved some great heights or your performance has directly contributed to the company’s record-breaking sales numbers.
  • There is no alternative to hard work. So just focus on your work, your role as a team member and note down all performance indicators. During negotiation, you will have to discuss more about these positive factors. How much hike you will get is directly proportional to your performance.
  • Some basic homework is essential. Find out how much a person with your degrees, skill sets and experience earns and the percentage of pay hikes in other companies across the industry. Also do some research about the salary hikes patterns in your company for the past 3- 4 years. The result of these two studies will make you get an idea of the approximate hike you can ask for.
  • In many cases, employers agree to give you a hike if they view you as a candidate who is doing the work of an employee of the next higher level. So understand the roles and responsibilities of the higher level and show your capability of accomplishing the next level tasks.
  • All bosses or managers are busy individuals. An employee going to them for a salary hike is no more a serious matter for them. Thus you need to strike the right chord by knowing what mode works best for your manager or boss. He might like to have direct talk with you or prefer you to send a neat and detailed data-based email before conducting the one-on-one conversation.
  • You must wait for the other person to give you the offer. Don’t push yourself to make the offer first because you might underestimate yourself thereby asking for less.
  • Lack of confidence during the important meeting can land you in trouble. An informal preparation like practising with a tape recorder or a friend will ease out your nervousness. Use professional phrases and sentence. Also prepare for different situations. For example, your manager might not be satisfied from your points; then what you can add further, how you will convince him. This will certainly boost your confidence and career in the long run.

Asking for more money should not become an awkward experience for either the employee or the employer. Some behaviour is not expected from you as an employee. Besides following the above-mentioned golden rules, you must avoid these ‘no-nos’:

  • While talking during a negotiation, many employees say that they haven’t had a salary rise since a certain period of time. Not having a rise isn’t any excuse and this does not hold any value in this recession hit economy. Endless number of people works without getting any hike for years. Suffering from the fear of being fired by the company, they remain happy with their current salary. Besides your manager will show you many reasons for not paying you more. So it is better to concentrate on your own strengths and ask for a raise for being a valuable employee to the company.
  • Don’t say that you have completed one year, worked really hard and thus deserve a hike. Once your manager or team lead reviews your performance and gives you really good points, you have a chance to ask for a review. But simply because you have completed one year does not mean that you will have an increase in salary.
  • Don’t ask for a pay rise if you think you have done what you were supposed to do. Remember your boss will want you to go some extra miles and prove yourself as a brilliant asset. This means you might have to do many works that your juniors are seniors are doing, although these are not mentioned in your offer letter. Thus, saying ‘I am doing what I am supposed to do’ will not impress your boss. You must prove that you can do much more than what you are expected to do and your company is reaping the benefits from your work.
  • When not to ask for a hike is a vital point. For example, if the company is facing poor times and its annual turnover is not at all satisfactory, you must not think about negotiation. In situations where some of your colleagues are already fired, some are serving the notice period and yet many like you are retained, you must not act unprofessionally.

Thus negotiation can turn into a good experience for the employee. Restrain yourself from negative emotions like anger, frustration warnings or any foul game planning. Instead create an atmosphere characterised by faith and professionalism. Now don’t shy away; face it and ask, at least for once, so that you don’t have any regrets later. Try to get paid for what you deserve.