People may often make statements or comments that have an effect that’s entirely opposite of their intentions. While these words and phrases may be well intended, the interpretation can be harmful if read or taken the wrong way. Here are some words and phrases that should be avoided in your small business and workplace:
But– The word “but” discredits everything said previously and turns the focus over to the responder and their ideas. Instead, use a phrase like “That’s great, now this is what I think” to avoid misconceptions.
Never – Saying never automatically exposes you to being wrong, no matter how unlikely. Comments including “never” can quickly turn something from positive to negative. The word “never” also can have a big impact on the morale of the team or a project, which in turn can create a toxic culture.
Infer – According to Inc., the word “infer,” tells everyone in the office that you haven’t done your homework. It is technically defined as deducing something without real facts, but people just assume you are guessing.
Blame- Even if you attempt to use “blame” in a healthy and positive way, the word typically generates a negative outcome. Try to avoid blaming people in your small business and use words that can help clarify expectations amongst coworkers.
That won’t work – Instead of shutting someone down, ask questions to help guide you to the purpose of what they are trying to do. Providing suggestions and engaging in dialog with your coworker can help both of you find a solution.
Can’t – Can’t is a word that is unsupportive and can pose as potential damage to your relationship with another. Harmful words like this will drive people away and may cause others to look at you negatively.
Just get it done – According to a second Inc. article, people feel immense pressure to deliver, regardless of how it gets done, after hearing this phrase. This can cause people to dive into practices that may be unethical, immoral or even illegal. A better alternative would be asking another what they need in order to get the job done right.It is better to get things done right than it is to get it done right now.
Your words matter more than you may think, and can have an effect on everyone in your small business and workplace. As a small business owner or leader you have a responsibility to create a positive work culture. Avoiding these words and phrases can lead to an improved environment for you and your coworkers.