For many of us, it’s easy to get carried away while speaking. Whether it’s in a meeting, a group discussion, or a job interview, it’s difficult to tell how much is too much when it comes to our words. But it is with these very verbal mistakes that we can do the most damage, especially when they go unchecked. It’s time to put in a little more thought into the things we say while at work so that we say only the right things and no more.
Don’t talk at people, talk to them: When addressing others in a discussion/presentation, make sure you’re engaging in a dialogue rather than delivering a speech. You must give the others a chance to speak every now and then. Encourage people to ask questions and share their views, even if you are the key presenter/speaker.
Don’t interrupt: Basic etiquette dictates not to interrupt people while they’re speaking. Don’t jump to finish others’ sentences. You cannot always know what the other person is about to say. And if you have a point of your own to make, it’s wise to wait for you turn. Interrupting someone mid-sentence is not only offensive but it means that you miss out on something valuable that the other person may have said.
Don’t badmouth others: It’s not uncommon for you to not be on the best terms with some of your co-workers and/or bosses. However, be wary of gossiping about them. Word always gets around faster than you think, and you don’t want to create uncomfortable situations for yourself and others. More than anything else, why would you want to burn bridges?
Don’t use profane language: Some of us tend to use profane words more often than we’d like to. But it’s about time that we realise that this is a habit, and a bad one at that. In the work environment, it’s best to keep your language clean to make a good impression. Don’t let your anger or resentment show through the words you use.
Don’t blow your own trumpet: Tempting as it may be, don’t speak excessively about your own achievements. Instead of going on about how great and accomplished you are, you could, at relevant moments, speak specifically about how your work has helped achieve a particular goal or target, and what your plan of action for the future is.