I love reading a great article to get you motivated and inspired for the week to come. Today I want to share something I read over at Refinery29 titled, “10 Things Not to Say at Work”.

I really enjoyed reading this article because I noticed a few of the “things not to say at work” are or have been things I’ve said at work. 2014 is the year to work on a better, improved you. Why not start with your career? As a woman, we should make our presence known when walking into a room and work on owning our thoughts, ideas, and feedback with confidence. Here are the seven phrases that stuck out to me the most.

1. Does that make sense?

Many women end their statements with, “Does that make sense?” or “Do you know what I mean?”. We do this because we want to make sure we were understood, but this phrasing suggests you think you were incoherent. Instead, ask your listeners, “What are your thoughts?” or say, “Let me know if you have questions about this” instead of the undermining, “Did that make sense?”

2. Just

“I just want to check in and see…” “I’m just concerned that…” We insert justs because we’re worried about coming on too strong, but they make the speaker sound defensive, a little whiny and tentative. Drop ‘em!

3. Just a minute and Just a little bit

“I’d like to take just a few minutes of your time” or “I’d like to tell you a little bit about our new product.” Sure, be efficient and succinct — and don’t take up more time than you need — but drop the apologetic words about infringing on another person’s time. What you have to share is important and worthwhile; convey that, instead.  

4. Sorry, but …

“Sorry to bother you but…” “Sorry if this is a silly question, but…” Don’t aplogize for taking up space, or for having something to say. 

5. Undermining qualifiers

“I’m just thinking off the top of my head, but…” or “You all have been thinking about this a lot longer than I have, but…” or “I’m no expert, but…” Don’t tell people why what you are about to say is likely to be wrong. Lead with confidence in the knowledge that your ideas and insights matter.

6. Rushing and piling on the words

When we don’t feel we have the right to take up space in a meeting or conversation, we tend to rush through our words. We also tend to pile up phrases into one long string — instead of using concise sentences with clear endings. Short sentences and brief pauses between those sentences connote confidence and sense of comfort in the role of speaker. They also allow the listener to absorb what you are saying and give you a moment to gather a deep breath and collect your thoughts. Punctuate and pause. 

7. Shrinking your space

This isn’t about speech patterns, but it does change the way people react to what you’re saying. Notice if the way you sit or stand shrinks the amount of physical space you are taking up. Take up room, uncross your hands or arms, sit tall, and make eye contact. Basically, be noticed. 

For the full article on “10 Things Not To Say At Work”, visit the Refinery29 site here.

**photo and article content courtesy of Refinery29**


Which one of these “10 Things Not To Say At Work” will you be working on in 2014?



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