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6 dangerous phrases that could be harming your chances of a promotion

From repeating office gossip to criticising others.

Image: Unsplash

THE WORDS THAT YOU say at work are a lot more important than you think. In fact, they could be the difference between getting the sack and getting a promotion that you’ve been working towards for months.

With that in mind, here are just a few of the phrases that you need to banish from your vocabulary while you’re in the presence of colleagues and managers.

1. “It’s not my fault”

Unless you want to sound like a spoilt toddler then stop using this phrase. If you make a mistake, own it. Don’t put the blame on someone else and don’t try to create petty excuses. Managers respect people who can learn from their errors. If you want a promotion then you will need to show that you’re accountable and willing to learn from your failures, no matter what they are.

2. “Sorry I’m late”

For managers, tardiness just seems like laziness. If you really care about your job and your reputation then you will make sure that you show up on time. It’s one of the easiest ways that you can show your boss that you’re dedicated to the company. Then on the rare occasion that something goes wrong (like your car breaking down or a public transport strike), they won’t mind you coming in a few minutes late.

3. “That’s not really my job”

Uh-oh. No boss wants to hear these words. People on your team might start to think that you’re lazy or unhelpful. While a certain task may not be included in your job description, there’s no reason that you can’t lend a hand or offer some advice – real leaders chip in when they know people need help.

4. “I think that’s a terrible idea”

If you want to get a promotion, you need to be very tactful. You can’t run around dismissing other people’s ideas and praising your own – that’s not how a team works. Always be willing to hear other people’s opinions and if you really don’t like their idea, offer some constructive criticism instead of insulting them.

5. “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but…”

Woah, there! If you were told something in confidence keep it to yourself. Respect professional boundaries and protocol. If you catch wind of any office drama do not pass it onto your colleagues – you don’t want to get a reputation as the office gossip.

6. “That’s what I suggested at the start”

Nobody likes a know-it-all. Sometimes ideas will have to go through a healthy debate before they are finalised. If your team settles on your original suggestion do not brag or try to take credit for it. Remember you are all part of the same company – there are no individual wins and that you need to be a team player.

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About the author:

Aoife Geary

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