Communicating clearly is vital to your聽workplace relationships,聽especially with your not-so-favorite coworkers and your manager.聽Sometimes, words can actually get in the way, so it鈥檚 incredibly聽important to choose the ones that聽prove you can communicate like an adult at work.聽Don鈥檛 forget to show that you have a聽confident, powerful speaking voice. Here are some commonly misused words and phrases to eliminate from your work vocab entirely, along with a few ideas for statements you can smartly share instead.


1. 鈥淣o worries!鈥 Maybe one of the worst things you can utter at the office, 鈥渘o worries鈥 feels more like you鈥檙e doing your boss or colleague a favor than crushing a killer assignment. While it鈥檚 cool to be upbeat and helpful (and your cheery personality is probably why your team loves you), maintaining your professional 鈥榯ude will help you earn more respect while also showing everyone that you take your projects seriously.

2. 鈥淚t鈥檚 impossible.鈥 Do NOT ever utter 鈥渋t鈥檚 impossible,鈥 even if under your breath. Not only does it make you seem super pessimistic, but also shows passive-aggressive tendencies. Your can-do attitude will take you everywhere, so exhaust every single possible solution before presenting options to your manager or team. Once you鈥檝e reached your limit, start by saying, 鈥淗ere are the things I鈥檝e tried and what I found.鈥

3. 鈥淪orry.鈥 Don鈥檛 use 鈥渟orry鈥 at work unless you鈥檙e actually apologizing for a legitimate mistake and it鈥檚 accompanied with a fix. Otherwise, you run the risk of drowning people with apologies, when, often, what you actually need is help or direction. Be clear about what you need or want and stop there. There鈥檚 really no need to apologize for that!

4. 鈥淭his is crazy, but鈥︹ Remember that some of the best ideas are outside of the box and that you聽don鈥檛 need to introduce yours with a qualifier. Instead, try: 鈥淚鈥檓 thinking about this a bit differently. What if we try it like this?鈥 We bet you鈥檒l be surprised by the open reception you get by confidently sharing your thoughts with enthusiasm.

5. 鈥淥kay?鈥聽When you qualify a cool idea after sharing it with 鈥渙kay鈥?鈥, it says that you鈥檙e not really sure, which likely isn鈥檛 the case at all. Instead of seeking instant validation, try letting whatever you said just hang for a moment as your manager or team takes it in. If you want quick feedback, try asking, 鈥淲here do you stand on it?鈥 or 鈥淲hen can I start working on this?鈥

two coworkers in office

6. 鈥淪he had great synergy.鈥 Synergy is something that happens between two or more organizations or agents. Don鈥檛 confuse it with 鈥渆nergy,鈥 and use it when describing a magnetic teammate, partner or interviewee. You can totally use synergy to talk about the connection between cross-functional teams or ideas, though.

7. 鈥淚鈥檓 too busy.鈥 You know what people say about Beyonc茅: She has the same hours in a day as the rest of us! If you鈥檙e truly overwhelmed by your workload and get a request from a teammate, let them know you鈥檙e booked solid, and kindly ask if they can source the task to someone else instead. If your boss asks you for a favor when you鈥檙e slammed, try saying 鈥淚鈥檓 also working on a report and our big Q1 project. Can you help me prioritize?鈥 Like Queen Bey has taught us, focus is key. Show 鈥榚m that you know that.

8. 鈥淚鈥檒l try.鈥 You鈥檙e a paid employee, so trying goes without saying. It鈥檚 your job! Instead of saying you鈥檒l try, express why you feel hesitation. If your concern is a tricky assignment, too much work or a tight deadline, talk to your boss about how to re-arrange what you鈥檙e working on to make it happen.

9. 鈥淚鈥檓 anxious to get started!鈥 Anxiety is the terrible feeling that can drive聽you to bite your nails or gorge on office snacks, which is the total opposite of being 鈥渆ager.鈥 Unfortunately, the two words often get swapped, which may lead you to tell a potential vendor, partner or new manager that you鈥檙e 鈥渁nxious鈥 about starting on something new. If you don鈥檛 want to use the word 鈥渆ager鈥 to share your excitement, simply try 鈥渆xcited.鈥 Both words will communicate that you have good vibes about whatever鈥檚 coming up next!

10. 鈥In the spirit of over-communication.鈥 What over-communicating ACTUALLY means is spreading a message repeatedly without sharing a single new thought. Don鈥檛 use 鈥渙ver communicate鈥 unless you really ARE sharing something that鈥檚 already been widely stated. It鈥檚 just annoying and completely ineffective otherwise.

Which misused words and phrases drive you nuts? Share them with us on Twitter @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)