10 Phrases to Avoid

1.    That’s the way we have always done it.

Some people ask why; others ask why not; yet others are happy with the status quo.

2.    I did what you told me to do.

The implication is that it is not your fault that you messed up something but that of your supervisor for not maintaining a constant vigil.

3.    I’m not feeling well enough.

All of us go under the weather sometimes. A few have to live with genuine medical issues. However, using this as an excuse for inaction is the pinnacle of being unprofessional.

4.    It is none of your business.

Really? This is the 21st century. Your competitors probably know your “secrets” better than your colleagues. Refusing to share relevant information is a hangover from colonial days.


5.    That was my idea.

Ideas are great. How about some execution?

6.    That’s not my job.

Applies only to government officials. For the rest of us, everything is a part of the job.

7.    You know what I mean?

Once in awhile it is good to make sure that you and your listener are on the same wavelength. Repeated often, it is annoying and discourteous.


8.    Sorry I’m late.

Happens to all of us once in a while. If it is a habit though, you are conveying you don’t value others’ time.

9.    We have big plans.

Plans are nice. Time for some real achievement.

10. They may never notice.

Passing sloppy work as something of quality takes the cake for being unprofessional (check your e-mail at least twice before hitting the send button).



  1. All too often we say these things, not even thinking of the implications. Great reminder to stay present, positive and punctual!


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