By Dominique Rodgers
Monster Contributing Writer
By the time you’re an adult operating in the working world, you should have absorbed the message that you need to think before you speak. Still, some employees haven’t and others don’t understand just how bad some of the things they say come across to others.
Whether you realize it or not, there are some key phrases that will make any boss instantly crazy. Protect your job by striking these four from your conversations.
“That’s not how we did it at my old job.”
And your point is…? This statement is a problem because it doesn’t help. If you think the old company did something better, say that without making it sound like you miss them. More helpful would be to say something like: “We found XYZ software to be a better fit for this application, and I think that would translate here.”
“Although managers like you to apply your learnings from past experiences, no one wants to hear how great your last company was,” says Christine DiDonato, founder of CareerRev
, a leadership development training company. “If it was that great, why did you leave?”“So-and-so isn’t doing his work.”
If you’d like bonus points for getting everyone in the office to hate you, not just the boss, become the workplace tattletale. This statement is awful not just because it’s childish, but because what your co-worker does is none of your business.
“Focus on your performance and not your colleague. The boss will take care of that issue. Statements like this only create bad relationships and poor team performance,” says Steve Langerud
, a workplace consultant.“How’d I do? How’d I do? How’d I do?”
Fishing for compliments is a career-limiting move, according to Jonathan B. Smith, founder and CEO of ChiefOptimizer
, a business development solution for rapidly growing companies. When you were hired, it was for your confidence, skills and ability to work independently. Don’t throw that all away by seeking constant reassurance.
“The addition of an employee to an organization should bring more capability, capacity and additional profitability to an organization,” Smith explains. “An employee who is insecure and needy is a drag on morale, productivity and profitability. You don't want to be the employee that fishes for compliments, constantly looks for reassurances and is repeatedly apologizing for simple oversights.”
“That’s not my job.”
If all the selfish office misanthropes can ever get it together enough to form an organization, this will be their motto. And it’s the worst statement on this list.
Similarly terrible phrases include:
● “This is not what I signed up for.”
● “Can’t someone else do that?”
● “Will I get a promotion or a raise if I do that?”
These statements demonstrate “a bad attitude, lack of effort, lack of commitment, and/or lack of caring. These are the statements of someone who is not a team player and cares only about themselves,” says Todd Cherches, adjunct professor in HR at NYU and CEO of BigBlueGumball
, a management and leadership development consulting firm.