There are six things you should never say at work. These things are not horrible, and they will not get you fired; however, they do not sound confident or professional. Most of these six things are used commonly to appear polite or as filler words:
- “Kind of…” When you say something is “kind of”, such as, “I kind of think she meant this…”it sounds like you are trying to soften your point. You may say it because it appears polite; however, it does not sound as confident as a more direct phrase such as, “I think she meant this…”
- “I’ll try.” When you say “I’ll try” it is confusing to the other person. Are you going to do it or not? And when will they know? Simply say whether or not you can do it. If you are pressed for time and resources, let them know that and when they can expect a status update from you.
- “I just…” This is a polite word that you may use when reaching out to people or to ask a question or make a request; however, it sounds like you are asking permission first. Delete ‘just’ and say what you need to say or ask what you need to ask!
- “This may be a stupid question but….” Prefacing any question with this this phrase discounts yourself and what you are about to ask. Simply ask the question.
- “That’s above my paygrade.” When you say this phrase it can be received as, “that’s not my job” or “I don’t get paid enough to make that decision.” If something is outside of your authority, simply let the other person know, and let them know what you would do if you did have the authority.
- “Like…” This word is a hugely popular filler word and harmless; however, it does not sound professional in most workplaces.
To avoid saying these words and phrases, reread your emails before you send them. Watch recordings of yourself speaking or in meetings. If you notice you are commonly saying these words, ask someone to help keep you accountable by reminding you of when you use them.