Workplace should never tolerate racism, harassment, or any negative behaviour traits, be it in physical or oral form because the consequences will not only affect employees’ morale but also the company’s image. However, this principle might not be easier said than done when the very place you want to scream over tough project and difficult teammates is in the office. It is not easy to always control emotions in a work setting when we are too tired or too happy.

To prevent you from saying pointless and even harsh things, you need to avoid these unethical phrases when at work, during a meeting, or conversation with colleagues. 

“This is boring” 

It is exhausting to sit for a long hour during meetings, especially in a meeting that “seems” like a waste of time. When you’re stuck in such a situation, never complain or say things like “this is boring” – either loudly or quietly to colleagues. Don’t also murmur those words by yourself. If you do that, your boss might think that you are unable to stay committed and focus on certain things. 

Instead of saying phrases similar to “this is boring”, you can talk to your manager the next day or after the meeting about how you feel. Tell him that while the meeting is necessary, it took too long that it ended up interrupting everyone from working. If your boss is a good leader, he will listen to your feedback and do something about it. 

See also: Backstabber at Work: The Signs and What Should You Do About It

“I was doing this and that and … during my weekend” 

Sharing is caring but this does not apply when your boss or HR ask you the question “what did you do on the weekends or holidays?”. Revealing too much about what you did on your personal time could be a boomerang in the future. Even if you do productive things, revealing too much to your employers and coworkers might not be good for your work-life balance. Therefore, you can say one or two things about your personal matter but don’t go into details. To make it more polite, you need to thank your boss or HR for asking about your weekend. 

“It is not my fault” 

Having a job means you are ready for every responsibility that awaits you. Although certain task might not be under your liability, sometimes you are required to take responsibility for it. When your boss comes asking you about a project, never say “it is not my job to take”. Or, when your manager asks you to revise something that is not under your job desc, don’t say “it is not my fault so I won’t do it”. This indicates that you are blaming other people and are hostile or defensive. This can be bad for your personal image.

Instead of saying such things and making yourself look childish and irresponsible, you can tell your boss that you can help take a look at the project and revise it. Yet, when your plate is full already, you can ask your boss for an extended time to do the most important thing first. Alternatively, you can discuss the project with the person who did it but of course, acknowledge your manager first about it. 

“Thanks, hon”

This line is a little bit of a grey line. Calling someone with “baby or honey” will make it look offensive and even sexist. Especially in a workplace where people of diversity work together, these words might be interpreted differently. Remember, how you speak and communicate can change the workplace and work relationship flow. So, be careful with how you call your teammates and bosses. 

“Are you sure you can do this with your condition right now? 

When you ask the question to a coworker after medical treatment, it might sound caring. Yet, never throw the question to employees with disabilities or ill-body. This could mean you are underestimating them. Don’t say phrases that indicate racism or harassment such as “because you are black/Asian/white/having slanted eyes, you have no friends here”, or “You cannot do that with that body” as well. 

Read also: How to Tell: Are You in the Wrong Career, or Just Lazy?

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