You worked hard to get your job, and you’re probably making goals to earn a raise, promotion, or both this year. On top of presentations and sales reports and other performance indicators, much of your success on the job depends upon how you interact with your boss. You want to make a good impression and show that you’re worthy of being trusted with your job — and could be trusted to take on more responsibilities. Despite all your good intentions, a quick slip of the tongue could quickly tarnish your boss’ perception of you.
The language you use in the office definitely has an impact on whether your boss views you as a leader and someone to be trusted. “In speaking with hundreds of executives and senior leaders over the past twenty years, certain phrases consistently come up as career-limiting phrases that jeopardize one’s professional image and potential for promotion,” Darlene Price, author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results, told Forbes.
One quick mistake is likely reparable. But consistent habits with certain words and phrases will have their negative effects. “There are certain comments and questions based on negative perspectives that can set you back with your boss,” Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, told Business Insider. “If they continue unabated, these phrases can sabotage an otherwise great job.”
In general, you want to avoid vague phrases or adjectives that don’t have evidence to support them. Using the word “awesome” or other descriptors that don’t actually mean anything is an example of this, writes Georges Le Nigen, chief revenue officer for global tech company Powa. Instead, Le Nigen suggests, you want to use quantifying and objective data to describe why the deal is a great one. By saying the deal is the largest in company history and sharing how much money it will make the company, you prove its value without using words like “awesome” or “fantastic” that mean very little without context.
On top of that, there’s several other words or phrases that are good to avoid. Cut these five words and phrases from your workplace vocabulary and you’ll be on the right path to making a better impression with your boss.