Get Rid of Crap at Work: Watch What You Say

You must have heard about a little thing called office politics, and how you should watch what you say while you’re at work.

No matter how buddy-buddy you become with your boss or co-worker, it’s NEVER a good idea to pour your heart out to them about another employee, your supervisor, or your personal problems.

But you know all of this already…

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I’m not going to harp on about something that’s been said a thousand times before. Be careful what you say around your boss and co-workers at the office. It’s as simple as that. Trust me – I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too. There’s nothing worse than having to deal with trying to put out fires when someone “accidentally” repeats something that they shouldn’t.

Watch what you say and how you say it

Sometimes we get so comfortable in our jobs or our work environment, that it almost feels like home. Our colleagues feel like friends and our boss feels like a long lost family member. And that’s all fine and fantastic for teamwork and office morale, but there’s a very thin and invisible line that’s just waiting to be crossed.

  • A request turns into a sarcastic insinuation
  • A meeting turns into a shouting match
  • A comment comes across as cocky or arrogant

It’s easy to forget that you’re working in a professional office environment sometimes.  Sure, a stuck-up work place where everyone acts like little soldiers is not the way to go, but there’s a balance.

There’s a way to speak to people and a level of respect that needs to be held – no matter what position you’re in.

I’ve always learnt that you should treat everyone equally. I remember one of my first jobs working as an administrator in a furniture retail shop. Richie was the storeroom manager and his job was to load furniture for customers and make sure that the storeroom was kept in order. Only some people took advantage of this. They regularly asked him to make them tea or coffee. That wasn’t the worst part. It was the way in which they asked. As if he was a piece of dirt. This man had once been a teacher in a high school. We had many chats over lunch, and he had his difficulties, but he was a human being and he deserved to be treated with the same amount of respect that he was showing.

Respect in the office place works both ways.

Just as an employee needs to show respect toward their superior, the same applies for the person they’re reporting to.

In order to get respect, you’ve got to give respect.

And who knows, this person could one day end up being your boss!

Watch what you say….

  1. Speak to people as you’d want to be spoken to.
  2. Don’t get sarcastic or bitchy with fellow colleagues if you’re having a bad day.
  3. Speak up. If you’re spoken to in an unfair manner say so. Don’t get defensive about it. Just be polite, and then change the subject back to the work matter at hand.
  4. Get the HR department or a career coach involved if there’s more than one or two cases of unprofessional work behaviour going on.
  5. If you happen to say something in the heat of the moment, take a few minutes to calm down, and then get up and go apologise. Admitting that you were wrong isn’t always fun, but you’ll feel better and you’ll definitely come across as professional and mature.

Not every day at the office is going to be a walk in the park, and you’re not always going to get along with everyone there. Even if it feels great to say something bitchy back to a nasty colleague, you really don’t need that kind of crap at work, or the repercussions of a snarly remark that could follow.

Image credit photo: David Castillo Dominici,