Words have power, and what you say to your boss and your co-workers can have a huge impact on your job and career. You’ll get ahead by choosing your words carefully. Here’s what to say loudly, and what to avoid:
• Do say: “What should I do differently?” Use the feedback to improve your performance and show your commitment to helping your employer.
• Don’t say: “That’s impossible.” You don’t want a reputation for being incapable. As long as no one asks you to break the law or violate physics, take an “I can do this” approach to all your assignments.
• Do say: “Try, try again.” Learn to shake off your defeats and setbacks and move on. This shows a positive attitude and a willingness to take chances.
• Don’t say: “It’s not fair.” Whining will get you nowhere in your career. If you have a legitimate problem to discuss, stay calm and deal with the business issues, not your personal gripes.
• Do say: “How can I add value?” Instead of waiting for instructions from your boss, take some initiative. Be on the lookout for ways to use your skills and talents to improve products, procedures, and the culture of your organization.
• Don’t say: “We’ve always done it like this.” Show your flexibility and willingness to adapt to new situations. Organizations need creativity to survive. If you’re obsessed with the tried and true, managers won’t look to you for ideas and career potential.
• Do say: “I can do more.” Get organized and manage your time effectively. When you’re not distracted by irrelevant activities, you’ll be more productive. Managers who notice that you get more accomplished than your colleagues will learn to depend on your abilities and enthusiasm.