3 statements you should never say

If you want to protect your job—and climb that ladder—don’t use these career-killing phrases at work:

“It’s not my fault.” On one hand, it sounds whiny and immature. On the other, you are shifting blame to someone else. Neither is a good a look. If you make a mistake, take accountability for it. If you aren’t to blame, offer up the facts of what happened, and let other people determine who is at fault. In both scenarios, skip the excuses and focus on problem solving.

“I’ll try.” Depending on your tone, this one can come across in one of three negative ways: You can seem like you lack confidence in your ability to execute. You can sound put out and annoyed that someone asked you to do something. Or you insinuate that you aren’t going to try that hard to execute. If you can’t commit fully, just say so.

“This is a stupid idea/question.” If it’s “stupid,” why say it? Such phrases undermine your confidence, credibility and professionalism. And you cause people to lose confidence in you before they have a chance to hear you out.

— Adapted from “10 Things Smart People Never Say,” Dr. Travis Bradberry, www.linkedin.com/pulse.

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