We have all been there. Stuttering during presentations, getting mixed up with words, and not being able to clearly express yourself verbally are all ways to lose respect at work.

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Here are 10 phrases to avoid at work to be taken more seriously.

  1. Uhh, Umm, like. If you need to pause, it is okay to be silent. Silence is golden and gives you the chance to regroup your words and presentation to organize your next sentence. Make sure to practice in front of friends beforehand so you feel more comfortable with the way you deliver your speech.
  2. I hate to bother you. Don’t feel bad about asking others that you work with on how to better do your job or something pertaining to your job. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help when you need it. If anything people will respect you more for asking rather than messing it up and them asking you why you didn’t ask beforehand.
  3. I just whatever it may be. You are allowed to speak your mind and any request that you have doesn’t have to be minimized to get people to help you. If it is important to you, it is okay to ask for help. It is okay to ask for what you need when you need it.
  4. Is that okay? When you are asking for approval, it shows you are not comfortable in yourself. If someone has questions and you think they won’t know whether it is okay to ask you questions, you can rephrase it to make it stronger. Ask your audience if they have any questions.
  5. As a matter of fact. This makes you seem disingenuous or dishonest. You should always be speaking facts and if you are not sure than let other people know you are guessing at it to clarify. It sounds a little snotty too.
  6. It’s not my fault. Even if there was a mistake at work and it wasn’t your fault, ask instead how we can do it better next time. Apologize if you did something wrong and ask how we can improve the process for the next go around.
  7. At this point in time. Whenever you are speaking, there is always a present essence to it. Meaning whatever you are saying is momentous and this point in time. This is a filler and redundant, so no need to say it.
  8. That’s not my job. Saying this makes you look lazy and not very open to change or new work. If you are overwhelmed, work with your team to understand how you can better get the work done. There may be people that would be willing to help you figure out a new approach that could be a short cut and a time saver to what you are doing now.
  9. You’re wrong. Blatantly saying someone is wrong during a meeting can sometimes come off trite and offensive. If you have a rebuttal sometimes it is better to be done in person, from person to person and not in a group setting. Group fighting makes everyone feel uncomfortable and it is unprofessional to start a fight in a meeting. If you feel someone is wrong, take them aside and ask them about it. You will get more respect and will feel better about it. Don’t burn bridges.
  10. I don’t know. Instead you can say, I will figure it out or I will look into it. When you sday I don’t know you defelct and make it not your problem. Instead be open to looking into it and be a team player, helping the bigger mission of the company out.

What other phrases do you hate hearing during meetings that make you look unprofessional?

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