20 Things You Should NEVER Say at Work

20 Things You Should NEVER Say at Work

I am a firm believer in the power of communication. I've had jobs where I've been given a lot of responsibility, and I've had jobs where I was given none at all. The difference between those two scenarios is that in the former, I was able to communicate my needs and ideas to my superiors. In the latter, there was no one to talk to except for my coworkers, and they didn't have any more power or responsibility than I did.

Communication is key to having a fulfilling career, but it can also be a minefield. We all know what it's like to get into an argument with our boss or coworker about something that we don't even care about.

You might be tempted to say something you'll regret just because you're frustrated. But if you keep these 25 phrases in mind, you'll be able to communicate your needs without hurting your professional relationships.

 

Here are the 25 Things You Should NEVER Say at Work

 

"It's not my job.”
"I don't know."
"No one told me."
"That's not my problem."
"I don't care."
"I don't have time."
"I don't want to."
"I'm too busy."
"I'm not a team player." "I can't do that."
"I'm too good for this job."
"That's not fair!"
"It's not my responsibility."
"I'm just the secretary."
"You're wrong."
"I'll do it later."
"It's too hard."
"I'm not good at this."
"I'm not feeling well."
"This is impossible."

 

"It's not my job.”

 

This is a big one. If you're not willing to do the work, don't take the job. You can always say "no" politely and offer to help find someone who is willing to do it.

It's not your job to do everything, but it is your job to pitch in and help out. This is especially true when you're in a team environment. When someone else needs help, offer to help them if you can. If you don't know how, offer to find out. You'll come across as a team player who cares about the group's success.

 

"I don't know."

 

Saying "I don't know" is a no-go in the workplace, especially if you're a manager. It's better to say "I'll find out" or "I need to do some research." If you're a new employee, it's okay to say that you don't know something, but make sure to find out the answer.

If you don’t know how to do something, the worst thing you can do is pretend that you do. You’ll just look like a fool and it will make people less likely to come to you for help in the future. Instead, be honest about your shortcomings and ask for help. If you’re not sure whether or not you should say something, err on the side of caution. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

"No one told me."

 

"No one told me." This is a phrase that you should never use. People are going to think that you're not a hard worker or that you're not trying to do your job. It's important to take initiative and ask for help if you need it.

 

"That's not my problem."

 

This is a terrible thing to say, because it makes you seem like you're not willing to help. Even if you don't know how to fix the problem, you can still offer to find someone who does. This is a great way to show that you care and are willing to do what it takes.

If you're a team player, you'll want to avoid saying this one. It's easy to be the person who just doesn't care about anything but themselves, but it's also really easy to get fired. If you're in a position where you have to deal with a problem that's not yours, try to offer some constructive criticism or advice instead of just throwing your hands up and walking away.

 

"I don't care."


Saying this makes you seem indifferent or uncaring. It indicates that you are not only don’t care about a certain problem but about your job in general.

You may be frustrated, but saying this will only make your coworkers frustrated with you. Moreover, you manager will notice that. This expression will stay with your manger and will certainly come his mind when you are asking for a raise.

 

"I don't have time."

 


You may not have time, but if you do, you need to make it. It's important that you show up on time and complete your work. If you can't find the time, talk to your boss about getting more help or changing your responsibilities so that you have more free time.

 

"I don't want to."

 


This is just another way of saying "no" without actually saying it. When you refuse to do something, it's important that you give an explanation as to why so that your coworkers know where they stand with you and what they can expect from you in the future.

 

"I'm too busy."

 

You should never tell your boss that you are too busy. It is not a good excuse for not being able to get something done. You may be too busy, but it is your responsibility to prioritize tasks and make sure you get the important ones done.

"I'm too busy" is a phrase that can really get you in trouble. It's not a good idea to use this phrase when your boss asks you to take on a new project or take on some extra work. It's better to say that you are willing to take on the new work and explain why you can't do it right now. Saying "I'm too busy" may make your boss think you're lazy.

 

"I'm not a team player."

 

This is a terrible thing to say. It's not that you're not a team player, it's that you don't want to work with the people in your team. If you are really not a team player, then you should try to find another job.

But if you just don't like the people on your team, then you need to talk to your boss about it.

 

"I can't do that."

 

Saying "I can't do that" is a surefire way to make your boss think, you're not a team player. It is also a great way to get yourself stuck with all the work no one else wants to do.

If you really cannot do your job because legit circumstances, then by all means, let others know about that.

So it would be better to say “I can do that, but I need more information about….” Or “ I need additional help with…”.

This indicates that you are willing to do the job.  In effect, it gives you the opportunity to show that you are competent as you are able to know exactly what is needed to finish the task, and how to get the information you need to complete it.

 

"I'm too good for this job."

 


This is a classic mistake. You might think you're being humble or self-effacing, but the truth is that you're actually being self-destructive. Saying this at work will make you seem like you're not committed to the company and not invested in your own work.

It's also a sign of disrespect for your colleagues, who are doing their best to do their jobs well and are just as important as you are.

 

"That's not fair!"

 

This is a common reaction to being told you can't have something, and it's a natural response to hearing that someone else has something you want.

But it's also a great way to get yourself in trouble. If you're not getting what you want, don't make a big fuss about it. You'll just look like a spoiled child.

This is a phrase that will make people defensive and shut down any hope of productive discussion. If you want to get your point across, try using phrases like "I think this might be a problem for me" or "I'm not sure how I feel about this."

 

"It's not my responsibility."

 

It's important to take responsibility for your actions, and that includes work-related tasks. If you don't take responsibility, you'll end up with a reputation as someone who can't do anything right.

You also won't be able to move up in the company. It's not fair to those who work hard and take on more responsibility than they're told to.

 

"I'm just the secretary."


"I'm just the secretary" is one of the most damaging phrases you can utter at work. It's not just that it's an insult to your intelligence and skills, but it also denies your value as a professional.

A secretary does a lot more than answer phones and type up memos. They're the first line of defense for your company, and they're often the ones who know everything that goes on behind the scenes.

If you want to be taken seriously, don't call yourself "just a secretary."

 

"You're wrong."


If you're going to disagree with someone, be diplomatic. Don't point out their mistakes or insult them. You may be right, but it won't help your case to say, "You're wrong." It's better to say, "I may have an idea that will help."


But to say "You are wrong" is rude, and will only lead to an argument. If you have a different opinion, make sure you phrase it as such. If the person is doing something wrong, you can always say, "I don't think that's the best way to do it."

 

"I'll do it later."


The problem with saying "I'll do it later" is that you may never get around to it. You have to prioritize your workload and the things that need to get done first. If you don't, then you will end up with a lot of unfinished work.


So this is a phrase that should never be uttered at work, because it will likely lead to more work. If you say this to your boss, he or she will think you're not busy and assign something else for you to do.

This phrase is also a bad idea if you're working in an office with other people. Your co-workers will take advantage of the opportunity to slack off as well.

 

"It's too hard."


You might think that you're being a good team player by admitting that you're struggling, but in reality, you're just being lazy. If you think that something is too hard, try to find a way to make it easier for yourself.

You can ask for help or do research to find out how to do it better. It's also important to remember that if you don't put in the effort, it will be difficult for you to succeed. When you're feeling overwhelmed or stuck, take a break and set your mind on something else.


Really, there are few things more frustrating than a colleague who whines about everything. "It's too hard." "I can't do it." "This is too complicated." "I'm not good at this." "I don't understand." "It's not my job." These are all statements you should never say at work.

Even if you're telling the truth, it sounds like you're just trying to get out of doing your work. It also makes you sound like a whiner.

 

"I'm not good at this."


It's hard to be confident in a job when you don't feel like you're good at it. But, if you constantly say that to yourself, it will start to become true. If you think about what you're doing and work hard to improve, your confidence will grow. You may not be good at everything, but you can always get better.

And let's face it, we're all not good at everything. But there's a difference between being bad at something and being unwilling to learn. If you want to be successful, you need to be willing to learn and put in the effort. Don't give up.

 

"I'm not feeling well."


The most common phrase that people use to get out of work is "I'm not feeling well.". A lot of people say this when they are feeling sick and want to get out of work. This is not a good idea because it can make your coworkers think you're not committed to your job.

You should also never say anything that includes the words "I'm too tired," "I'm too busy," or "I don't have time." If you have a legitimate reason for leaving, then you should find a way to do so without hurting your reputation.

So ff you're really not feeling well, it's best to go home. You don't want to spread your germs to others, and you may be contagious. Plus, if you are sick, you need rest.

 

"This is impossible."

 

This is a common phrase people say when they're feeling overwhelmed. However, it's best if you can just suck it up and do the task at hand.

Saying this will only make your coworkers think you can't handle the work load. Instead, use phrases like, "I'll try," or better "I'll figure it out." These phrases show that you're willing to put in the effort and work for a solution.

 

Conclusion



The key to success in the office is knowing how to interact with your coworkers. This list should help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls and hopefully make your workplace a more enjoyable place.


Have you heard other phrases your coworkers used to get out of work? Please share them with us and leave a comment below.

 


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