Stop Saying These Three Phrases to Get Ahead at Work


When you think about your performance at work, do you ever consider the role of your vocabulary in demonstrating effective communication? Changing the way in which you approach everyday conversations in the workplace can make a big difference when it comes time for your manager to consider extending your temporary position into a permanent one or consider you for a promotion. Unfortunately, many employees forget about the importance of their vocabulary and end up tarnishing their reputation in the workplace.

As you grow professionally, here are three phrases to remove from your vocabulary – at least when you’re at work!

“I think.”

Though this phrase tends to come naturally for many people, it can have a negative consequence when building your credibility in the workplace. In general, the phrase “I think” can make you appear as though you’re unsure of yourself and reflect weakness or incompetence. Rather than use this phrase, consider instead “Based on my experience, I believe…” or “This may be a better way to…” Considering the context of what you’re saying and reframing the way in which you communicate it can position you as a leader and reflect better on your overall abilities and skills.

“I did.”

Constantly talking about only yourself and your accomplishments in the workplace can not only appear narcissistic but indicate you’re not a team player. It’s better to convey your work in terms of your contributions with others in your department whom you work closely with to meet common goals. Using “we” when appropriate can be very impactful in showing your commitment to working with others and giving co-workers on your team the proper credit when it’s due.

“That’s not my job.”

In almost every position, there will be responsibilities that arise outside of the scope of the job description itself. Rather than dismiss a request you don’t deem as part of your role, it’s best to use it as an opportunity to demonstrate teamwork and professionalism. For example, if the request is out of your wheelhouse or area of expertise, connect the person to somebody else in the organization that is better suited to handle the project. This builds camaraderie in your team and shows you’re willing to assist in whatever way you can.

Are you looking to grow your career this summer? Get in touch with the talent acquisition specialists at Durham Staffing, a temporary employment agency based in Buffalo, NY.

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