10 Things Never To Say To Your Co-Workers - The Black Perspective
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10 Things Never To Say To Your Co-Workers

By on December 14, 2012

Office EtiquetteWhether working in an office setting or another career, like retail, hospitality, health care etc, there are always certain things that are off-limits to say to co-workers. Some are rude to them, and others discredit yourself. Getting ahead and being successful in the workplace requires some tact, and here are 10 things never to say to your co-workers to help you find success.

1. Are you pregnant? If you really think a co-worker is pregnant, try approaching the question a little differently, by dropping baby related hints, rather than outright asking. Or just wait for your co-worker to come to you about it.

2. Have you lost weight? This may seem encouraging, but to some it may seem like you are insinuating they had weight to lose or looked poorly before. Try something a little more positive, like “You look great today!”

3. The new boss is getting on my nerves. Opinions like this should be kept out of the workplace. Collusion against those higher up is never the way to get ahead in the workplace. Try finding things about the boss you like, or say nothing at all.

4. I don’t need the money. This is a negative statement to co-workers that is best avoided. If you wish to portray that you’re happy with your salary, say something like, “I’m living comfortably off this job,” or another positive statement.

5. That’s not my job. Think before you say this. Is the request from the co-worker something that falls under their job description? If yes, say something constructive and polite, like, “I actually don’t think that is my responsibility,” but if they are swamped and it doesn’t inconvenience you too much, go ahead and fulfill the task. They may be entirely too busy, or not have the expertise.

6. I’m so hungover. Avoid spreading your night life adventures around the office. You may earn a less than desirable reputation, which will not help your credibility at the company in the future.

7. I heard Diane is going to get fired. This is a great example of office gossip that can destroy team spirit at a workplace. If a co-worker brings up Diane’s situation try to be disinterested and maintain a professional attitude in the face of their gossip.

8. Do you know how to use Excel (Word, Powerpoint etc). Unless you are directly asking for help with a presentation, it is rude to inquire about co-workers skills.

9. If Tony calls, tell him I’m not here. Pawning off your unwanted customers and friends on your co-worker is poor etiquette. If there is a real reason beside your lack of desire to speak with the person, explain to the co-worker why you need them to lie for you–and only use in cases of emergency!

10. Let’s be Facebook friends! You should try to keep your social media life private unless you are actually close friends with your co-worker. Before friending them on Facebook, friend them in real life and make sure you want them to have access to your Facebook posts.

Towanna B. Freeman is the founder of Black Life Coaches Network, the leading life coaching site that connects African-Americans who are seeking valuable life changing advice and strategies with practitioners who can deliver just that. 

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