Time to review 5 Things You Should Never Ever Say at Work, especially if you’re management. Probably, you should never say these things at all, to avoid making hefty withdrawals from your secret Swiss bank of goodwill. You never know when having a stash of benevolence (aka brownie points) will come in handy.
1. No offense to you but……
Just typing this makes me mental (probably not much of a stretch from the norm.) Fortunately, I don’t think anyone’s ever said that to me, because they subconsciously know saying that to me could be dangerous for them.
People who say “no offense but” are about to say something offensive, or mean, or in the best case, painful. Probably it doesn’t need to be said at all.
However, if there is a problem, there is a way to effectively confront someone. If you want to learn deep secrets so you don’t need as many confrontations or be more at ease in this type of communication, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up something educational.
2. Can I ask you a question?
I don’t know, can you? Are you able? By the time you said this, you could have already asked.
Simply ask the question, or ask “Do you have a minute?” if it’s not patently obvious that it’s a great time to ask a question.
BTW…when calling people (if you still use a phone that way,) it’s always a fantastic practice to ask if it’s a good time to chat.
3. To be honest with you….
When were you NOT honest with me? Was I wrong to trust you?
4. I was just wondering if maybe, if it’s not too much trouble…
Really? Spit it out! What is your question? Just ask!
5. Is the problem apathy or incompetence?
Avoid dichotomies when searching for motives or explanations. Framing something as “either/or” is tempting but usually a bad idea.
If you’re in an “apathy versus incompetence” situation (sorry to hear that!), start off with “Help me understand….” and you’re golden.