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A List Of Non-Sense You Say That Make You Instantly Unprofessional

A List Of Non-Sense You Say That Make You Instantly Unprofessional

While the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words,” may have some definite truth to it, there are some words and phrases that career-minded, successful people say every day. On the other side of the proverbial coin, there are also some things that unprofessional, unsuccessful people tend to spout off. Sometimes, they are not even aware that they are doing it. So many of these phrases have become social norms, making it difficult to break the habit of using them in your daily conversations. Unfortunately, they are doing more harm than good.

When it comes to their staff, managers and other employers only want the best employees working for them. As an employee, you represent the company. As an independent contractor, business owner, or freelancer, you represent your own brand. How you come across is just as important as the quality of your work. Sounding unprofessional reflects poorly on you, on your brand, and on your company. This, in turn, adversely affects your reputation.

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To make sure you aren’t letting these unprofessional statements slip while in your place of work, below is a comprehensive list of syllogistic sayings that you may not even realize you are using. These unprofessional quotes are quite common, and range from petty to whiny, to just downright rude. No matter the tone they convey, or the context in which they are said, all of them should be avoided. Since coming across as unprofessional is a definite “no-no” in a place of work, it is best to avoid using any of the following 51 phrases.

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Take pride in your brand, and keep your employer or clients happy, by keeping these phrases out of your repertoire:

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  1. “I’m not feeling well enough. “
  2. “I’m just doing what you told me to do.”
  3. “That was my idea!”
  4. “No problem.”
  5. “I’m a guru.”
  6. “I know you have to go, but let me just tell you one more thing.”
  7. “It’s our policy.”
  8. “Look what I bought!”
  9. “I thought of that first!”
  10. “Absolutely.”
  11. “I’ll start tomorrow.”
  12. “Sorry (not sorry).”
  13. “Sorry, I forgot.”
  14. “Sorry I’m late.”
  15. “%$#@^*&”
  16. “Full disclosure… “
  17. “I’m so hung-over.”
  18. “We’ve always done it this way.”
  19. “I assume…”
  20. “Because I’m the boss.”
  21. “Look how much I saved!”
  22. “I’m overwhelmed!”
  23. “I’m kind of a big deal.”
  24. “What will it take to get you to buy?” (“…to get you in this car today”, “…to get you to sign up”, etc.)
  25. “It’s probably not very good.”
  26. “You’re so smart!” (Any form of sucking up is unprofessional.)
  27. “It’s not fair!”
  28. “That’s just how it is.”
  29. “It’s none of your business.”
  30. “Before you say that, let me just say… “
  31. “That’s not my job.”
  32. “Sucker.”
  33. “We’ve got big plans!”
  34. “They’ll never notice.”
  35. “I can’t forgive.”
  36. “That’s nothing.”
  37. “Let’s go along in order to get along.”
  38. “That’s too hard.”
  39. “I already know that.”
  40. “You must have read into things.”
  41. “I could’ve done it better.”
  42. “I’m not impressed.”
  43. “That’s a stupid idea.”
  44. “Information is a commodity.”
  45. “It’ll be OK.”
  46. “You wouldn’t understand.”
  47. “Know your place.”
  48. “Could be… “
  49. “I’m not afraid.”
  50. “That’s my secret.”
  51. “I don’t know why they asked me… “
  52. “Why?” (as opposed to “Why not?”)

You would not want to be seen slacking off, wearing an inappropriate outfit in the office, or doing a poor job. Why? Because doing those things make you seem unprofessional. This holds true for everything you say in your place of employment, just as much as it does for your behavior. Your employer judges you by both, and so do your customers and/or clients. As such, it’s best to avoid saying this list of phrases that make you seem anything less than the professional you wish to be seen as.

Featured photo credit: Sarah via flickr.com

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Alexia Bullard

Alexia is a content marketer and writer who shares tips on productivity and success at Lifehack.

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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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