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You Should Never Say These Six Things If You Want To Be Successful At Work

You Should Never Say These Six Things If You Want To Be Successful At Work

We all want to get ahead in the work place. Whether you’re working as a hostess at a restaurant or acting as the right-hand man to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, there’s something more we’re always looking to attain from our positions; and that “more” is success (in addition to bonuses).

However, as much as we’d all like to think we’re impervious to the pitfalls of our work environments, the majority of us are prone to make a mistake from time to time. That being said, we all have the power to control how we behave and deal with certain less-than-ideal circumstances.

One of the ways in which we can achieve success in the work place is through effective communication. I’ve had to learn this the hard way with my first job (considering I had difficulty communicating with upper management), but ever since, I’ve grown to understand it’s one of the essential components of getting ahead in your career.

So if you think communication may be an issue hindering you from being successful in your work place, reflect on the following things you should never say while at work and make it a point to avoid these six verbal bloopers.

1. Curse words

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    It should be a no-brainer to understand it’s not professional to use foul language at work, but you would be surprised by how many seemingly successful people still do. While most of us do use curse words quite often (I’ll admit, I’m guilty of it), it’s a smart idea to leave the potty mouth at home when you’re headed off to the work place.

    Not only does using curse words show a lack of regard for appropriate behavior, but it also diminishes the respect others have for you. I’m not wrong in saying we admire our authority figures more when they aren’t dropping F-bombs every five minutes.

    2. “I’m busy right now”

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      It’s not that you can’t be honest and tell your boss you’re too busy to do a project or task they assign you. However, that “I’m busy” should always be followed up by an offer to start the assignment later on.

      “I’m busy at the moment, but I’ll do my best to finish up soon so I can get started on this job” sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?

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      3. Your nightlife escapades

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        It’s no secret that we all like to have fun. Some more so than others, but most of us enjoy a good night out on the town with our girls, boys, or romantic partners – especially after a long workweek. But when Monday rears its ugly head around again, the “play hard” portion of our lives needs to be kept separated from the “work hard” aspect.

        Saying things like “I’m so hung over” and “I got so wasted over the weekend” to your co-workers or, God-forbid, your bosses, is going to paint a negative image of you as someone who’s irresponsible and reckless even if you’re not. And who wants to give a raging party animal an upper management position? No one, that’s who.

        4. “That’s not possible”

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          I’m sorry, did you just tell me something is impossible? Cue the “Oh no she didn’t!” In my eyes, nothing is ever unfeasible. Things only seem that way when they require hard work and intensive research in order to complete the task at hand.

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          As harsh as it sounds, the idea of impossibility is a mark of laziness or unwillingness on the responsible party’s part to do the required work. It may be difficult and you may not like the task you were given, but that doesn’t mean it’s not do-able. It just means that you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and get crackin’.

          5. Gossip

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            Again, your personal life needs to act like your pet and stay the heck at home when you leave for work.

            “Did you hear about Britney and Justin?” No and frankly my dear I don’t care.

            Gossip is something we all need to disengage in, even outside the workplace. It’s tough, I understand, but just think of how it feels when you realize someone’s been gossiping about you. I bet you’d think twice before saying anything more if you saw yourself in that situation.

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            6. Negative thoughts

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              As a reformed pessimist, I should know better than anyone that this is one of the worst things you can express at work. I used to think I was just being honest, but really I was being unprofessional when I would tell my co-workers how terrible my mornings were going. It sounds awful, but no one likes an Eeyore.

              That’s not to say be disingenuous, but be cautious about the way you act around others and the things you disclose to those you work with. After all, you never know who may be listening. I guarantee that adopting a positive perspective will bring you more opportunities for success than dragging about that persistent storm cloud.

              Featured photo credit: mic/Robert Bejil via flickr.com

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              Published on January 7, 2021

              How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

              How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

              Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

              If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

              Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

              You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

              When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

              Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

              In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

              Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

              3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

              Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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              1. Respect deadlines
              2. Understand the work-flow plan
              3. Build in time to mess up

              1. Respect Deadlines

              Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

              One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

              2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

              Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

              3. Build in Time to Mess Up

              You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

              Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

              For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

              Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

              This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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              Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

              Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

              Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

              When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

              12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

              Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

              1. Learn to Listen Well

              You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

              Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

              2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

              Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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              3. Follow Rules

              Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

              4. Take Notes

              Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

              5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

              When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

              As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

              6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

              If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

              7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

              English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

              8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

              Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

              9. Minimize Distractions

              It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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              If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

              10. Take Breaks

              It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

              11. Make Time for Reflection

              At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

              12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

              This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

              Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

              Final Thoughts

              Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

              When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

              More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

              Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

              Reference

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