When you think about it, we spend more time with our co-workers, than we do with most of our closest friends and family. With that being said, the way that we present ourselves at work to our boss, fellow colleagues and clients via email is super important. No matter how relaxed your work environment is, there are a handful of sayings that are commonly used in our every day work lingo that may appear professional, but in actuality, can unknowingly alter the way people view you and work with you. Just like a bad habit, we often are unaware that we are using career limited words and phrases. Whether you’re working for a women-run business, or an open coed space, we’re sharing a few sayings to start saying at work that’ll help raise awareness of our language and truly channel our inner girl-boss!
.01 – “I’ll starting working on that now“/ “You’re welcome” Avoid
“no prob/”no problem”
By saying, “No prob!” it may seem like you’re super flexible and you’re excited about taking on a new project, but this phrase can be off-putting to a manager because it sounds like you’re doing a favor, rather than doing your job. Or, if this is in response to someone helping you, “you’re welcome” actually implies that you appreciate someone’s time and help. It should never be implied that a request was ever a problem or hassle in the first place.
.02 – “There is something I’d like to discuss”/”Is now a good time to go over something” Avoid
Out with it already! By saying “Quick Q!” you undermine your time, and the time you’d like whoever you’re asking to spend on thoughtfully reply to you. Your time, thoughts, questions, etc. matter.
.03 – “I wanted../Circling Back/Bringing this to the top of your inbox” Avoid
“I just”/”just wanted to”
Let’s face it… it’s just not necessary. It is, in fact your job to communicate and follow up with your co-workers – whether they’re your superior or not – and clients. Lead with intention in the way that you communicate, be it email, phone call or face-t0-face. Any sign of timidness can leave room for people to take advantage, or simply not respond.
.04. – “Thank you for your patience” Avoid
“sorry/apologies on the delay”
It’s easy for emails to get buried or lost in the mix, not to mention sometimes we are absolutely swamped with work! With that being said, why apologize and bring yourself down when you can highlight the person’s investment in you and their willingness to wait for you on their time? This gets rid of any bad air, and turns a semi-negative situation into a positive one!
Photography: Angelica Marie Photography
.05 – “That was my fault, here’s what I can do next time..” Avoid
“so sorry about this”
We all make mistakes! It’s hard to separate emotions from our efforts, but in being up front and owning up to your faults and providing a clear path for next time, you avoid being caught later down the line when a situation has potentially worsened, and immediately build trust between you and your co-worker or boss.
.06 – “What can I do to help?” Avoid
“let me know”
Not only does this show your willingness to help, it gives the person you’re speaking with to provide you with a clear vision of where they see your assistance being best in a situation. In saying “let me know”, it leaves the opportunity for someone to not respond in fear of being a bother or a burden.
.07 – “Happy to help, can we chat about how this can work with my current workload?” Avoid
“I don’t have time”/”Yes, will do!” (when you in fact, can’t)
Even if you work in a very collaborative work environment, it is very possible that your fellow work wives may not know how much is actually on your plate. Allowing some insight as to what you’re currently working on gives them a chance to work with you on how you can both accomplish all of your tasks together! And if you’re accepting more work, even when you know you can’t, you might end up disappointing your co-worker when you’re unable to come through to the best of your ability, or at all on a task. When you work with people who are equally as passionate as you are, the bottom line is you’re all here to make your company succeed! Creating an open and honest work environment allows for stronger and more efficient results.
What are other ways we can be intentional with our words in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below, or DM us at @inspiredbythis!