When it comes to getting ahead, sometimes it’s not what you say — it’s what you avoid saying that really counts. As always, it’s the little things that trip us up.
Steven Barnes at Levo League has a great list of these seemingly innocuous, but potentially career-killing misstatements. These were a few of my (least) favorites:
1. “That’s not my job.”
Everyone has worked with someone who says this, and no one has enjoyed it. While it’s perfectly appropriate to ask your boss to help you prioritize tasks or to direct a colleague to someone who can better solve their issue, it’s important to express it in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re telling your coworker that you don’t care about their problem.
2. “Last night was so crazy.”
Never give your boss a reason to think you might be hungover, tired, or less-than-focused on the task at hand. He or she is unlikely to be impressed with your keg-stand prowess anyway. Save those stories for your friends.
3. “This might sound stupid, but…”
It might not have sounded stupid, but now that you’ve said that, it will. Don’t be your own worst frenemy.
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