The words you use at work are a great tool in managing your reputation. With the right words, you will build relationships and trust. With the wrong words, you can ignored or even face a law suit. Use the following phrases to improve your image at work.
1. “That’s Brilliant.”
This simple compliment gives you a way to recognize good ideas from other people. As entrepreneur Derek Sivers has pointed out, business success requires ideas and execution. For added impact, explain what you liked about the idea (e.g., “That’s brilliant because I never thought of using a different vendor for our events!”).
2. “That’s Genius.”
Did somebody just knock your socks off? In those cases, you can use this phrase. Remember that to use this phrase with care. Genius contributions are rare in the workplace.
3. “Thank You.”
Saying thank you at work will help your reputation if you put thought into it. There are several ways to express your thanks. You could send a card, send a thank you email, or thank the person verbally. If they have saved you from a problem, you may want to express your thanks with a small gift. If the other person is a coffee fan, you could give them a Starbucks gift card, give them a cookie or some other small item.
Tip: If your work activities take you to other countries, memorize “thanks” or “thank you” in the local language.
4. “Fantastic Question.”
Questions are a powerful way to communicate with other people. Taking a moment to recognize that someone has asked a good question matters. USing this phrase has two benefits. First, you can recognize a good question. Second, using this phrase will give you a moment to collect your thoughts before you answer. To make sure you have understood the question, repeat it back to the person in your own words.
5. “Yes, and…”
In the world of improv comedy, there is a rule called “Yes, and…f” This rule is designed to make everything keep acting through a scene. Using this phrase at work is helpful because it encourages you to cooperate. Instead of taking down another person’s ideas, use this expression to build on what someone else has said. As business leader Marissa Mayer recommends, “assume positive intent.” Using this phrase will prompt you to look for the good and useful in what other people say.
6. “I Understand.”
As we go through our work, conflict and misunderstandings are bound to happen. When these situations arise, take the time to listen to the other person. Then, when the time is right, use the phrase “I understand.” In many situations, conflict is caused by one person feeling they are not being understood or heard.
Tip: To use this phrase and related phrases better, improve your active listening skills.
7. “How Can I Help?”
Leadership expert Richard Rierson recommends using this expression to grow your leadership. This expression is powerful because it emphasizes the other person and your desire to add value to their life. As the other person explains the problem, you may have to continue the conversation. At first, they may be upset or unsure how you can help them. By staying with the conversation, you are bound to find an approach that will work.
8. “In Your Situation…”
Using this phrase is a way to show empathy and connect with the other person. You can also use this advice to translate your ideas and advice to the other person. That means avoiding jargon and technical language. For example, you could say, “In your situation, the fastest solution would be to call the IT Help Desk and ask for Jane – she is an expert in recovering files following a system failure.”
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