What Not to Say on the Job
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us monitor what we say at work. If we are comfortable there, we may trade jokes and remarks with co-workers, but overall we are usually careful about what we say.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, cofounder of TalentSmart, the agency that services 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, tackled this subject recently and pointed out some key pitfalls. See what you think. Here are some things to consider.
Standing firm on the status quo - When you are quick to say, "We always do it this way." you are effectively shutting the door on progress. Tradition is good, but every company has to keep trying new things to move forward.
Never stepping up - When things happen, some people are quick to deny all responsibility. If you were not involved it is OK to say so, but accepting responsibility for what you do is crucial. The best company spirit acknowledges mistakes are made and the way forward is to concentrate on fixing them, not fixing blame.
Being unwilling to accept new duties - When you keep saying, "That's not my job," you are closing the door to grow in your job, and you are leaving the door open for others to step up and expand their jobs.
Being quick to label others - No matter how much you object to someone's behavior, calling them a jerk will simply reflect on you. Let the behavior of others speak for itself. If someone is a jerk, it will become obvious in one way or another.
Apologizing for ideas - When you have a new idea to contribute, simply present it and explain what it can do. Never preface your idea with an apology, such as, "Here's a dumb idea." If you really thought it was dumb you would not be presenting it. Stay positive and push for the ideas you believe in.
Questioning fairness - Life is not always fair, and most of us accept that and make our way forward. If you pipe up at work with a protest like, "That's not fair," you are not helping yourself. If the situation really is not fair, you can ask questions and make counter suggestions.
Shutting down new directions - If you are confronted with new procedures or classes, give them a try and find out what is involved. The person who says, "I've never done that before," creates a rigid position that probably will not play out well.
Every job is different. At the end of the day you have to make the best call from what you know, feel and see. Do your best to show up and perform well and be open to new things.
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