Silence is Golden: Bite Your Lips off before You Say These Things at Work

One of the worst afflictions you can have in the office is diarrhea of the mouth. While everyone on a team wants to hear great ideas from a colleague, it just gets uncomfortable when someone makes inappropriate comments, shares too much, or shows just how little regard he has for the team.

Top Eight Things to Never Say at Work

  1. I’d like to do xxx to him. Let’s face it. No matter how many attractive people there may be in your office, it’s always a bit of a treat to get a new one. The new hottie at work comes with so many immediate benefits, foremost among them being that they are all mystery and no history. I have heard men and women making overtly sexual comments about new hires, and even if it’s sort of funny at first, it just gets icky when the new hire becomes the guy who picks his teeth at his desk.
  2. My spouse is such a jerk. Yeah, all spouses have their jerky moments. If you are a spouse, you have probably had your jerky moments. And after a fight over the Corn Flakes, it may be tempting to get revenge by telling all your dirty little secrets to your colleagues. However, you’ll probably make up with your spouse when you go home that same evening. Your colleagues will be left with the aftertaste of all your spouse’s shortcomings.
  3. I am so hung over. This may be true. If it’s often true, seek help. However, if you go to the office and share the detritus of your after-hours gluttony, you will be the subject of gossip and conjecture. And believe me – if there’s a major screw-up, it won’t be the real culprit that gets the hit. Instead, someone will bring up (oh so politically correctly and with so much concern) your “little problem.”
  4. I’m having problems with my bank. Listen hard. No one believes it was the bank’s fault. The quickest way to decimate your credibility in the office is to share your financial woes. I don’t care if you’ve overspent or fallen prey to an overseas bank scheme – you’ll look like a careless spendthrift.
  5. The boss says so-and-so isn’t pulling his weight on the team. If the boss told you this, he was indiscreet, and you have to wonder what he’d say about you if given the chance. If it’s true that a particular team member is slacking off, it’s highly probable that your boss told you this in confidence. It’s cool for a minute to be the kid with all the inside information, but when your gossip gets back to your boss, he’ll view you as the crap member of the team.
  6. There’s no way I’m staying late tonight. If your team has a critical project and the rest of the employees are making time for it, you had better have a damned good reason for not participating. I’m talking your mother’s funeral or your father’s wedding. You can rail against the man all you like, but if you leave your colleagues in the lurch, they’ll remember it. If there’s a failure or a missed deadline, you’re going to get the hit.
  7. It’s not my job. Yeah, the chick with no experience and no common sense got the promotion. But you’re still taking your paycheck every two weeks, and if your boss asks you to complete a task, and it’s not picking up her dry-cleaning, you’d better do it. A little flexibility will go a long way to you joining the other ridiculous chick at the barbecue at the department head’s house.

Dave Saunders helps people stand out and “Be the Brand” as a personal branding and marketing specialist. Manage your career online: Create, Enhance and Share a better resume, free at

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