Depending on where you work, a day at the office could sometimes be compared to a zoo or even a WWE cage fight. (If so, you have my sympathies.) You may have to contend with difficult clients, strange co-worker personalities or even a demanding and unreasonable boss. Everyone has to deal with politics in the workplace. But if you want to keep your job, it’s best to keep these sentiments to yourself.
“Lazy people shouldn’t work here.”
Don’t judge others. There’s no reason to offend or bring up other people’s mistakes in front of them. Everyone deserves respect, especially in the workplace. No one wants to be humiliated or made to feel like they don’t belong.
Also, comparing your skills to others is a big no-no. You never know who may overhear rude remark. It could come back to haunt you. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Plus, it makes you look like a bully, even if some of what you’re saying is true.
“I don’t make enough money.”
The office is not the place to voice your opinions on sensitive topics. Avoid talking about money, race, political affiliations, religion or your own personal matters. Your co-worker is not your therapist, and they certainly can’t do anything about your paycheck. In fact, engaging in conversations regarding compensation is grounds for termination at many companies.
It’s best to just avoid sensitive topics at work. There will always be break time and water cooler conversations, but they don’t need to get personal or delve into taboo themes or office rumors. Current events or financial issues may affect the company, but voicing derogatory quips about the President of the United States or the Pope aren’t going to help and can make others uncomfortable.
The only time your boss or manager would be your buddy is if you work for your spouse or a really close business partner. Keep things on a professional level and avoid inviting your boss to be your Facebook friend or tweeting them in a non-professional capacity.
Just because the both of you are online doesn’t automatically mean you’re instant best friends. Instead, create a Linkedin profile and share only positive work related news. Do not assume your boss knows everything about you.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have a co-worker issue or if you’re requesting vacation days, but do it through the right channels. Good communication will improve and strengthen a business relationship. Make sure emails and phone conversations are professional too.
“My Hands are tied.”
Phrases like “there’s nothing I can do about that” or “I don’t see your point” will come off as passive, unhelpful and stubborn. If there’s a group task you need to complete, the worst thing you could say is, “Let me know what you come up with.” or “I’m not good at that….” A positive attitude and encouraging statement will trump a negative comment every time. A company will notice when an employee isn’t pulling their weight or considering all angles of a project.
“I did this differently at my last job.”
This kind of comment only shows that you like to brag or that you’re being negative about your current position or coworkers in some way. You don’t want to appear unsupportive, pompous or desperate for attention.
Be confident, but be humble too. You can find similarities in your work without voicing your views about how it should be done. If you have any criticism, make it positive and head up the changes yourself. Then you’re viewed as an asset rather than a critic. Companies like innovative, hard-working and creative people who are ready and willing to tackle any task. You don’t really want to say anything about your previous job because it’s counterproductive and is in the past anyway.
Remember that it’s Work, not War
At the end of the day we’re all in this together. You can stand up for yourself, contribute to the gross national product and still be a personable human being that others want to be around. Every day doesn’t need to be a battle. Make the most of your work day by thinking about the impact your words might have. Come up with solutions for others who don’t think before they speak. Whether you’re making a speech at the next board meeting or getting a performance review, speak as professionally as possible.
Mike Mann is the founder of numerous successful companies and charities. His focus is on generating profits and channeling them to charitable causes. For more of Mike’s tips on creating successful businesses and using them to make the world a better place, download his book, MakeMillions.Com or tune back in to the blog for new stuff weekly.