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8 Effective Phrases You Should Say To Boost Your Reputation At Work

8 Effective Phrases You Should Say To Boost Your Reputation At Work

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!”).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

Featured photo credit: Customer/ddswayne85 via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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