No matter how much we may dislike our colleagues, their ideas or their style of managing – it’s to your own benefit to treat them with respect and address them appropriately.
Executive coach Refilwe Khumalo says building interpersonal relationships is an important skill in any working environment. “There are phrases that will have a detrimental effect on your relationships with your colleagues and on your overall career, so don’t ever utter the following . . .”
“That’s absurd/ stupid/ridiculous”
If you dislike a colleague’s idea, never undermine their position or thoughts by responding with “that’s absurd”. You may use this kind of language in your social circles as a form of expression, but it will be seen as offensive, and it may seem as if you’re belittling your colleague, which will have a direct impact on how your character and team fit are viewed.
“That’s not my job”
Even if what you’re being asked to do is not within your job profile, don’t be too quick to dismiss the opportunity of taking the initiative and going that extra mile. This will show that you are a humble and approachable team player.
“Read your mails”
If you send a colleague an email and you receive no response, take it upon yourself to follow up with an email or a phone call, or walk to their desk or office. This will aid communication and ensure that no important information or deadlines are missed.
“I don’t have the time to do that”
When you say that you can’t or won’t do something, it could come across as disobliging, lazy or self-entitled. Instead communicate well in advance with your manager or colleagues that you have a lot of work to prioritise. If you really are unable to cope, request that a colleague assists in doing the assignment you don’t have the capacity to do.
“This is the way we’ve always done it”
In today’s tech-savvy world, things are always changing and improving. It’s important to remain open to different ways of doing things and to listen to your colleagues’ ideas. A failure to do so will imply that you are lazy and resistant to change.
What does this phrase actually mean? Either commit to do something or don’t because saying “I’ll try” indicates a lack of confidence and ability – and leaves things up in the air.