The professional world is a universe that requires a certain finesse in speech as well as in behaviour in general. In the company, the words you use give an idea of your professional image. It is therefore a good idea to choose the right expressions when you are in a professional environment. Certain phrases are thus absolutely to be banned if you want to be considered a leader. But which ones? Forbes magazine interviewed Darlene Price (author of the book Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results) about those words or phrases that should be avoided at all costs at work. We take stock with you.


1. “It’s not fair.”

Your colleague has received a pay raise while you work harder than he does. This can indeed create some frustration. But complaining or brooding about your anger in the workplace would be counterproductive. Instead, take stock of the facts, build a case and present it calmly to the people responsible,” advises Darlene Price.


2. “It’s not my problem” / “It’s not my job” / “I don’t get paid for this”

This sentence is to be banished, because it shows that you do not have the team spirit, nor the sense of solidarity. This does not mean that you have to accept everything, but you must be more tactful in your refusal. Darlene Price says that if, for example, you’re overwhelmed and your boss asks you to take on an extra task, tell him that you’d be happy to help and ask what priority you should give to each of the projects you’re working on. And Darlene Price’s continued use of this method will show that you’re willing to invest in the team, while reminding him that he needs to be realistic in his expectations.


3. “I will try.”

The verb to try implies a certain reluctance or lack of commitment. It is perceived by influential leaders as a rather negatively connoted verb in professional exchanges. Imagine, for example, that you absolutely must mail an invoice before a certain time and ask your colleague to take care of it when he goes to his next customer. If he replies “I’ll try” you will feel obliged to do it yourself because the sentence implies a possibility of failure.


4. “But that’s the way we’ve always done it”

It should also be remembered that initiative is the hallmark of leaders. A good worker must be able to think outside the box to innovate. Employers value innovation and creative thinking among their employees. However, this sentence proves that you are stuck in your habits, rigid and closed, without any prospect of evolution. Change is not always negative: never be so adamant about a new idea or way of doing things,” advises Darlene Price.


5. “He’s a fool” / “He’s lazy” / “My job sucks” / “I hate this company”

According to Darlene Price, this kind of sentence not only reveals immaturity, but can get you fired. Making those kinds of judgments is always going to reflect poorly on you. If you have something to reproach someone with, let them know directly, tactfully and politely: it will prove your professionalism.