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Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can come back to haunt you.

Posted on: May 6th, 2010 | Category: Employee Relations, Human Resources, Our Blog

Sure, you know the obvious words to avoid using around the office, such  as “&*(%^%$*“, “*(&*^&%$” and “%$$*^#@“. But do you know the more subtle words and phrases that might also be damaging your image at work? Yahoo! Hot Jobs recently posted “The Worst Words to Say at Work” that lists nine common words and phrases that will make you sound noncommittal, undependable, and untrustworthy to the people you work with every day.

Here’s our favorite part of the article:

Projects depend on everyone doing his or her part. People who use “if” are usually playing the blame game and betting against themselves. They like to set conditions, rather than assuming a successful outcome. People who rely on conditional responses are fortifying themselves against potential failure. They will say, “If Bob finishes his part, then I can do my part.” They’re laying the groundwork for a “no fault” excuse and for not finishing their work.

There are always alternatives, other routes, and ways to get the job done. Excuse makers usually have the energy of a slug and the spine of a jellyfish. You don’t want them on your team when you’re trying to climb Mt. Everest.

The article was actually an excerpt from Surviving the Toxic Workplace (McGraw-Hill, 2010), by Linnda Durre, a psychotherapist, business consultant, and columnist. You can follow her on Twitter: @LinndaDurreShow.

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