12 things not to say around the office
Image: ProStockStudio/Shutterstock

12 things not to say around the office

29 Sep 2017

How many of these are you guilty of saying at work?

The office can be a minefield sometimes. Not everything you say or do in your everyday life would be considered professional.

There are plenty of things you will know to be a serious black mark, and other general office social cues that you will get used to over time.

However, not everything is obvious and there are some things we’ve all been guilty of saying in the past without realising how bad they are.

Have you ever been asked to do something and, in order to appease your colleague, responded by saying: ‘It’ll only take a minute?’

You may sound accommodating and helpful, but how many tasks have you ever been able to do in less than 60 seconds?

Of course, everyone knows it’s a figure of speech, but you’re still inferring that what you’re doing will be done as quickly as possible and, not only is there a chance you’ll give your colleague false expectations, you’re also at risk of rushing the job and making a mistake.

Another common error is to start a sentence with: ‘I may be wrong, but …’

This highlights your lack of confidence in whatever comes out of your mouth next, be it an idea or an opinion. It’s a natural human defence to guard yourself against saying something stupid but in reality, you’re telling people you work with that you don’t trust in yourself.

If you don’t believe what you’re about to say, why should they?

Managers are not immune from saying things they shouldn’t either. If you are guilty of saying to your team, ‘You should have done x’, then it’s time to change your wording.

Telling someone what they should have done will just come across as blame. Simply pointing out mistakes is easy, but giving constructive criticism will be received better by your team.

For more advice on what not to say in the office and what you should lean towards instead, check out the infographic below.

Things not to say in the office

Infographic: Headway Capital

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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