5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Colleagues
By Chris Ambrose
Monster Contributing Writer
Most of us, at one time or another, have heard some pretty unprofessional things in the office. To build a great reputation at work, check out this list of things that you should never say to your colleagues.
Going negative is the fastest way to turn off employees and co-workers, says Allie Gray Freeland, PR director at iAcquire.com. “Give employees a chance to explain their request or point of view.”
“Just calm down.”
Tough deadlines and personality conflicts can wear on workers. If a colleague comes to you with a problem, the worst thing you can say is, “Just calm down,” according to Dianna Booher, author of “Communicate With Confidence: How to Say It Right the First Time and Every Time.” “This statement sounds parental. Worse, it implies that the person has lost control and has no right to be upset and that you're judge and jury,” Booher says. Rather, you should leave the conversation open and ask him or her what happened. Also, let the person air out their grievances in a more private place. Not only will your co-worker appreciate you listening, but you can potentially save them some embarrassment by moving the situation out of public view.
Many people are taught from an early age to avoid speaking in absolutes. That being said, casual hyperbole can be infectious in our day-to-day conversations. “To avoid ambiguity and vagueness, avoid the words, ‘always, never, none,’” says Laura Lee Rose, a Coach Training Alliance Certified Coach in business and career management. “This sets up a possible false assumption.” While it may be tempting to tell a new co-worker the head accountant never holds his Wednesday morning weekly recap before 10 a.m., this is an inaccurate — and unprofessional — way of saying it. Consider saying he very rarely does.
“Well, Now What?”
Everyone can recall an issue with workload or scheduling. However, if you are willing to define the problem, you should come up with the solution, says Jackie Jones, director of Jones Coaching, LLC. “If you are going to raise a problem, be sure to have a solution to offer, but make sure you have done your homework to know whether the issue is new, recent or chronic and what has been tried previously, if anything.” It is important to see if the problem is localized or a widespread issue in the company. Your next conversation with the boss could bring to light a issue and solve a larger problem.
Be careful about dragging personal issues into the workplace. “Avoid really personal questions, especially about income, marital status and why someone has no children or so many children,” Jones said. Unless a officemate brings up his or her personal issues, assume it’s none of your business. Don’t gossip

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