Phrases that sabotage your career

Vague and tentative phrases convey weakness and undermine your business dealings. Are you using any or all of these?

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When you say thoughtless things in meetings, you are sabotaging yourself, the team, and/or your company. The wrong word can cost you an account, a job, a friend, a partner.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But in the words of Mark Twain, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

There is no question that our words and speaking style are important; they reflect who we are. Therefore, if you want to be perceived as a smart, valued employee or workplace leader, a great way to start is by deliberately choosing words and phrases that empower yourself and others.

As an executive recruiter for the past 17 years, I have had the good fortune to speak with hundreds of executives and senior leaders, whether they are seeking a new position or looking to hire people for their team. Certain phrases consistently come up that make me ponder the underlying issues: “I’ve been telling my team that we need X and no one’s doing it,” or, “I’m looking to hire people who can outperform my current sales manager.”

Often, I find that their words and tone reveal insecurities about themselves and negative thinking regarding their co-workers and company.

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