TAFEP Hero 2023 June
human resources online

Words to lose to sound more professional


Every office has its own unique culture and jargon that even though you might use daily have never realised before. However, the words we chose to use can strongly affect people's perceptions of you and your intelligence. Altering just one or two phrases can even make an impact on how successful we are.

Whether you are starting a new job or deeply entrenched in your company's culture the folks at Glassdoor warn to pay close attention to your linguistic habits. Here is a list they compiled of words and phrases that will make you sound like an amateur.

  • “Like, um…”

Using filler words like "um" or "like" stagnates your sentences to the point it can be difficult to follow what you are saying. This is not only annoying to co-workers who want to communicate with you but it makes you come across as unconfident or unsure of yourself. This is the last perception you want your peers to have.

  • “This might be wrong…but”

Stating outright that you already think you're wrong clearly shows you are feeling insecure and too afraid to ask for help. It implies you don't even believe in what you are saying. Imagine saying this in a presentation, why should anyone pay attention to you?

  • “No problem…”

You might think you're being nice but in fact, the phrase "no problem" comes across less enthusiastically and less thankful than traditional phrases of gratitude like "thank you" and "you're welcome".

  • “I think…, you know…”

Another two phrases that instantly show you to lack confidence and knowledge. "I think," implies that you are not 100% certain about what you are saying and "you know?" makes it sound like the person isn't following what you are saying. It also has the added implication that you are talking down to them. The next time these phrases roll off your tongue aim to be more direct to avoid sounding like an amateur.

  • “I feel like…”

Another phrase to ditch that comes across as being unsure or yourself and lacking confidence. As if you haven't thought through what you want to say next. It might feel natural but its effects are negative. next time say exactly whats on your mind.

ALSO READ: Don’t use these words at work

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