Infographic: 18 things never to say at work

If you think someone’s looking tired, or if you feel compelled to ‘open the kimono,’ just don’t.


Of all the body parts that get us into trouble, it’s often the mouth that does the most damage.

It’s no different at work. We’ve all been guilty of saying (or writing) something rude, obnoxious, embarrassing, irritating, accusatory or unintentionally awkward. Often, it’s no fault of our own. One person’s go-to phrase (“Hey, bro!”) is another’s editorial or auditory abhorrence.

GrammarCheck has posted an infographic packed with 18 hackneyed words and phrases to avoid at the workplace. Here’s a sample of trite tidbits and stale standbys to scuttle:

  • “Let me know.” Let you know what, exactly? Be specific, be precise (and concise), and avoid this vague piece of word garbage.
  • “You look tired.” If you get strangled for saying this to a co-worker—especially someone with small children—the authorities probably wouldn’t even prosecute the case.
  • “It’s not fair!” Would you like some cheese with that whine? This might have been an effective tactic in Mrs. Franny’s kindergarten class, but office objectors, corporate kvetchers and workplace whiners go straight to the back of the line.
  • “It’s not my fault.” This annoying blame-shifting ploy won’t do you any favors. If you messed up, suck it up, take responsibility for your actions, and communicate exactly how you plan to fix the problem.
  • “Maybe it’s stupid, but…” Have some confidence in yourself. If you preface ideas with some variation of “This might be dumb,” or “Forgive my ignorance,” you’ll lower your chances of wielding meaningful influence. Self-deprecation can be an effective icebreaker, but it also easily backfires.
  • “Let’s open the kimono.” So help me, if you even think about opening that kimono, I’m calling the cops.

Sometimes, especially at work, silence is a better option than what you’re about to convey. As either Mark Twain, Abe Lincoln or possibly the Bible once expressed: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

For more dumb things to avoid saying at work, have a look at the rest of the infographic below.

18 Words and Phrases to Stop Using at Work (Infographic)

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