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  • feedwordpress 01:27:41 on 2018/06/16 Permalink
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    10 Commonly Misused Phrases That Make You Sound Unprofessional 

    Most of us have misused a word or phrase at one time or another–in a meeting, a written report, a conversation, or even in public speaking. Whether you find out about it right away or long after the fact, it’s embarrassing to realize you’ve gotten something wrong, especially in front of people you were trying to impress.

    Misusing language can hold you back professionally. In an age when we’re all constantly communicating–and when many of the things we say live forever online–it’s more important than ever to speak and write well.

    A good place to start is by making sure you’re avoiding commonly misused words and phrases. Here are 10 examples, some written and some verbal, all made by smart people. Learn from their mistakes as well as your own.

    1. “A piece of my mind” and “peace of mind.”

    These two phrases mean very different things. Giving someone a piece of your mind means speaking in anger or frustration, while peace of mind conveys assurance and comfort. If you’re emailing your boss, a client, or a customer to give them peace of mind, make sure it doesn’t include a piece of your mind.

    2. “Should of” for “should have.”

    This phrase confuses countless people. The correct form, “should have,” is often contracted in speech to “should’ve” or even “shoulda,” which sounds like “should of”–but isn’t. Mind your pronunciation and especially make sure you get it correct in writing.

    3. “Make do” and “make due.”

    Here’s another pair of phrases that sound almost identical but mean different things. When you make do, you are getting by with whatever you have. When you make due, you set a deadline. So if your boss has made something due but you don’t have all the resources you need to get the job done, you might have to make do with what you have on hand.

    4. “Flush it out” and “flesh it out.”

    Flushing out means clearing away what you don’t need. Fleshing out means the opposite: you take the core of an idea and brainstorm to add detail. The distinction can be confusing, but not as confusing as getting them mixed up.

    5. “I could care less” for “I couldn’t care less.”

    The correct form for this expression of apathy is “I couldn’t care less.” Even though people use “could care less” often, if you think about it, what they’re actually saying in that case is that they care more than they could–which is not apathetic at all.

    6. “Doing good” and “doing well.”

    This is a sometimes tricky distinction. If you are doing good, you are giving to those around you–a useful way to remember it is that you’re being a do-gooder. But when you do things properly or meet a high standard, you are doing well. Another useful phrase to remind you of the difference is the description of people who prosper by serving others: doing well by doing good.

    7. “For all intensive purposes” for “for all intents and purposes.”

    It’s possible to have an intensive purpose, although it’s an odd way of describing it. The phrase in common use, “for all intents and purposes,” means covering more or less all important angles or opinions. Its origins date back to 16th-century English law, which is why it sounds a bit formal.

    8. “By in large” for “by and large.”

    Derived from two sailing terms, “by and large” means about the same thing as “generally.” “Buy in large” isn’t correct–unless maybe you’re talking about what you did at a big sale.

    9. “Shoe-in” for “shoo-in.”

    To describe someone or something as a “shoo-in” is saying they’re certain to succeed, generally in a competitive situation. “Shoe-in” may sound the same, but in writing it’s incorrect.

    10. “Proceed” and “precede.”

    Both words are correct, so you have to make sure you’re using the right one. To proceed is to move forward or continue a course of action; to precede is to come before something else in time. If you want someone to keep talking, ask them to proceed. If you plan to speak before that person, you will precede them in speaking.

    These may seem like small distinctions, but they can make a huge difference in how you’re perceived. Good communication is important especially when you are going for clarity, skillfulness, and competence in your personal and professional life.


     

    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 10 Commonly Misused Phrases That Make You Sound Unprofessional appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:36:23 on 2018/06/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Phrases, ,   

    7 Destructive Phrases You Need to Stop Saying at Work 

    We pay a lot of attention to looking professional in the workplace, but we don’t always give enough thought to sounding professional.

    What you say and how you say it goes far in telling those around you how serious you are (or aren’t).

    Here are some phrases you can hear every day in many workplaces. Whatever the intent of the speaker, the real message they send is that they’re inexperienced or uncommitted–not exactly the impression most people want to leave. If you ever catch yourself saying any of these things, put a stop to it at once:

    1. “It’s not my fault.”

    There’s no way to keep this from sounding whiny and blaming. It doesn’t even matter if it’s true–it leaves a bad impression. Take ownership and accountability for the things you do, and when something goes wrong, keep the focus on solving the problem and preventing a recurrence rather than blame. To make a mistake is part of learning, but to make excuses and to blame others is a career killer.

    2. “I can’t.”

    When you say you can’t do something, you demonstrate a lack of confidence and unwillingness to take risks. Instead, try one of these options: “This is new territory for me, but I’m willing to take it on” or “Can I call on you if I run into snags?” or “Sure, I’d love to learn how to do this.”

    3. “I’m not willing to.”

    If you say you’re unwilling, you’re backing down from a challenge–and you’re saying that your priorities are more important than the team’s or the organization’s. If you want to excel, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

    4. “What’s in it for me?”

    If you think only of yourself and how you will benefit, you’re going to be (correctly) perceived as self-serving–and most organizations have little tolerance or patience for those who refuse to be part of a team. To be successful, focus more on we and less on I.

    5. “I can’t work with her.” (or him)

    Choosing whom you will and won’t work with makes you sound not only unprofessional but also immature. Learn to deal with conflict, and set differences aside when you need to. And if the other person’s offense is truly egregious, like sexual harassment or threatening behavior, report it through the appropriate channels.

    6. “I’m bored.”

    This may be the most damaging one of all. What are the people around you to think when you voice the fact that you find your work tiresome or tedious, insufficient to hold your attention? Your job is to find enthusiasm–or at least cheerful willingness–for everything you do. If you need more of a challenge, find a new activity to take on.

    7. “I’ll try.”

    Trying doesn’t mean doing. You can try without being successful, or for that matter without really putting up much effort. If you try with determination and perseverance, you’re going to get there–so say so! Instead of “I’ll try,” confidently say, “I’ll take care of it.”

    At the end of the day, the best way to look and feel more experienced and professional at work is to listen closely to every word you say and ask yourself if it means what you want it to mean. Let your words serve you well, be your confident self, and you’ll soon earn the respect you want.

     


    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 7 Destructive Phrases You Need to Stop Saying at Work appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:35:51 on 2018/06/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Phrases, ,   

    15 Phrases You Need to Say to Yourself More Often 

    Careers and lives are too often hectic these days, making it easy to lose touch with who you are and who you want to be. Just as you’d speak positively to someone else to help keep the person on track, talking to yourself is a way to guide and motivate yourself. Positive affirmations and self-talk can be a powerful force in reminding you of the most important things.

    Here are 15 phrases you should say to yourself more often to create the kind of life that will help you become the best version of yourself.

    1. I would rather be kind than be right. You don’t always have to be the smartest or sharpest–sometimes the best thing to do is to be kind whenever you can, realizing how much strength and restraint it sometimes takes. When you make kindness a habit, it will be returned to you 10-fold.

    2. I’m never too busy. The most successful people have time for others; it’s those who have a hard time getting things done who are too busy to spend time with colleagues, friends, and family. Keep your priorities in order and work to become the kind of person who says, “I’m never too busy.”

    3. I will say what I mean and mean what I say. Make it an absolute policy to give people the information they need rather than expecting them to know the unknowable. Communication is the key to great relationships, and lack of communication is the source of a huge amount of conflict.

    4. I am tough and yet I am patient. Be tough and be patient, because someday this pain you are going through is going to be useful; one day your struggle will make sense. Pain is a sign that something needs to change, a wake-up call that guides you toward a better future. So keep your heart open and do what it takes to stay tough and patient.

    5. I am a student. Prepare for success by keeping your mind conditioned to always be curious, open to questions, wanting to learn. Remember if you stay ready, you don’t have to prepare when opportunity knocks.

    6. I will stop being a fixer. How often do you find yourself wanting to fix things for others, giving constant advice and interference? Then at the end you discover that you’ve turned out to be an enabler rather than a helper. People need a listening ear more than advice; they want to know what they’re capable of, not what you can do to fix them.

    7. I will stop judging and criticizing. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle, and frankly you don’t have a clue what most people you encounter every day are going through–just as they have no clue what you are going through. If you don’t want to be judged or critiqued, stop doing it to others.

    8. I will be consistent in my choices and my daily actions. Live your life in a way that leaves no room for regret; never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you are meant to do. Continue to make consistent choices and take daily actions and work hard at what you love, no matter what the challenges are.

    9. I accept that my mistakes are a big part of being successful. We all make mistakes, but you don’t have to make your mistakes your fate. Instead, realize that mistakes are part of every successful story. If you learn from them and adapt with them, you can make mistakes a source of learning. What can you do to make your mistakes OK?

    10. I will stop making promises I cannot keep. If you say you are going to do something, do it. It’s easy to make promises, much harder to keep them. If you want people to trust you, underpromise and overdeliver on everything you do.

    11. I know my experience is my best teacher. Don’t chase the experiences of others or try to memorize their lessons. Learn from others, of course, but remember that this is your life and your circumstances. Learn for yourself from your own experience, determine the best practice, and then do your thing.

    12. I will allow my character to speak for itself. Make sure you live in such a way that if someone decided to speak badly about you, no one would believe it. Allow your character to speak for itself.

    13. I cannot control everything, but I can always control my response. We cannot control many things, but we can control one thing–how we respond. Instead of trying to change what you cannot control, work on controlling your own attitude and actions. Say to yourself, I am in control of my responses. They can either be good for me or bad for me, but that is my choice.

    14. I will stop comparing myself with others. No two people are alike, with the same gifts or strengths. At the end of the day, you are competing only against yourself and no one else. The sooner you understand this, the better off you will be.

    15. I will work on the relationships that matter to me. All successful relationships require work; they don’t just happen. They exist and thrive when all parties put their hearts and minds in it. In human relationships, the distance is not measured in miles but in love. Two people can be right next to each other and ignore each other completely. Resolve to stay in daily touch with the people who are important in your life–not because it’s easy or convenient, but because they’re worth the effort.

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 15 Phrases You Need to Say to Yourself More Often appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:17:29 on 2018/06/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Phrases, ,   

    15 Little Phrases That Will Make You Remarkably More Productive 

    We all want to be more efficient and productive. For many of us, one of the greatest obstacles to achieving those goals is having a hard time saying “no.”

    Here are 15 phrases you can have at your disposal the next time you’re tempted to overcommit yourself. Practice saying them politely and kindly but firmly and unapologetically.

    1. No, but thank you for asking!

    2. Thanks, but let me get back to you.

    3. Sorry, not now, but maybe next time.

    4. I simply just cannot say yes.

    5. Thank you, but I am not the right person to be asking. Let me make some suggestions.

    6. Let me check a few things, but it would be best to plan on working without me.

    7. Before I can say yes, I would have to be very clear about what is expected.

    8. I’m sorry, I won’t be able to do it — but let me help you find someone who can.

    9. I can’t take on the whole task, but maybe I can help you with part of what you need.

    10. I seriously would love to help but I am unable to at this time.

    11. I’m sorry but there is already too much on my plate.

    12. Thank you for thinking of me, but unfortunately I will have to pass.

    13. I am not taking on any new commitments right now.

    14. I’m so sorry, I just cannot make it work.

    15. I wish I could help, but at the moment I just can’t.

    Learn how to say these phrases with confidence and respect. Because sometimes saying “no” to someone else is really saying yes to yourself.

     


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 15 Little Phrases That Will Make You Remarkably More Productive appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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