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Learn from co-workers’ signals

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in Admins,Centerpiece,Office Management

Co-workers' signalsPeople often use carefully chosen words to avoid hurting others’ feelings or to hide their true emotions. At work, you and your co-workers probably don’t say what you mean sometimes for those reasons, and that can lead to poor communication. Emily Moore, writing at Glassdoor, shares some common phrases people use when they’re hiding what they really mean.

“That’s interesting” (when said unenthusiastically). What this phrase really means is “Thanks for sharing your thoughts, but I disagree.”

“We need to …” For example, “We need to remember to check voicemails every morning.” The “we” in that sentence really means “you.” It’s considered a nice way to share a mistake without singling out one person.

“What’s your bandwidth?” They’re not asking you how your internet is functioning. This question means “Can you help me with something?” They’re looking to add another task to your plate.

“Did you get a chance to …?” For example, “Did you get a chance to fix the printer jam?,” which means “I know you haven’t done it yet and I want you to.” It seems like a nicer way of reminding you to get something done.

“Any thoughts?” Translated, this questions means “Help me!” It’s a vague request for feedback and suggestions when someone’s stuck in a spot.

“Let’s circle back to that later.” Most likely this really means “I don’t want to deal with that.” It can also mean “Let’s forget about it.”

— Adapted from “7 Phrases Your Coworkers Say (and What They Actually Mean),” Emily Moore, Glassdoor.

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