Monday 16 March 2015

Rosalinda Randall, Contributing Writer
culled from:
Certain phrases or words can make you look incompetent, unreliable, and even apathetic—not great career boosters. Here are five to keep in mind:
Like many people, I use a few words and phrases when I'm with my friends that I wouldn't use around my business acquaintances. (No, no, nothing THAT bad!)
For example, calling my client "girlfriend" or responding, "Don't even go there." Not apropos in the business world, wouldn't you agree?
And what about your professional image? Will you be viewed as a serious contender when an opportunity for a promotion comes up? How do your coworkers react? Is it time to upgrade and drop the casual attitude?
Whether we like it or not, there are a few time-honored traditions that are still expected or looked upon favorably in the workplace.
For example, casual phrases. Certain phrases or words can make you look incompetent, unreliable, and even apathetic — not great career boosters. Here are five to keep in mind:

1. Whatever

Is that noncommittal or what! This can be interpreted as, "I don't really care." "I don't know, but I don't want you to know that." Or, "I'm just too cool; you make the decision." This sounds dismissive and apathetic.

2. Probably

Uh, do we toss a coin or cross our fingers? This can be interpreted as, "Eh, it doesn't affect me," or, "I don't know and I don't plan on looking into it." It communicates being non-committal, and some people use it instead of saying "no."

3. I don't know

Ah, the easy way out. This can be interpreted as, "I do know, but I'd rather let someone else answer and take the rap if it's wrong or doesn't work out well." This can be plain incompetence or indifference, and those are not desirable traits.

4. That's a good question

And the previous ones weren't? Acknowledging one question over another can seem a bit self-serving, because the question reminded you of something you know plenty about and can talk about. So what do you say instead? "Thank you for asking." Or, "I'm happy to talk about that." A "good question" is relative.

5. I can't deal with it

Oh, I understand. I'll just put my work on hold until you're ready to deal with it. That's just bratty and unreliable. Naturally, if we become frustrated or angry at work, stepping back or taking a walk to cool off, is the best move. But, say so! "I'm sorry, but I'll need a few minutes before I respond to that." Or, "I'll get back to you by this afternoon. I'm sorry to make you wait." They may not like it, but at least you've acknowledged the request and provided them with a time of completion or contact. You are getting paid to deal with things, right?
Are there exceptions? Of course. Occasional use of any of the above phrases won't tarnish your practically perfect professional reputation, but if used as your go-to phrases, they just might.


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