Top 50 Worst Things to Say in the Workplace

In our latest Tactful Communication Workplace Survey, we asked four hundred supervisors, managers, leaders and front line staff from various industries in six states and ten countries to share statements they made, or heard others communicate that were considered untactful and made others defensive.

Here are the top 50 statements as a result of the survey:

1. “That’s not my job”

2. “Why can’t you do it”

3. “I’m here to work, I’m not here to make friends”

4. “I’m busy can you get all of this”

5. “I’m right, you’re not”

6. “You don’t know what you’re talking about”

7. “I’ve told you how this is done before”

8. “I don’t work for you”

9. “He’s not pulling his weight”

10. “I’m always the one doing the work”

11. “Just do your job”

12. “What have you been doing all day”

13. “He did it, not me”

14. “This is your fault”

15. “Do it or go home”

16. “I’m busy”

17. “You don’t pay me enough”

18. “No place could be lousier than this”

19. “Well, I just assumed… [insert anything here]”

20. “They should be happy to have a job”

21. ”I don’t have time to babysit you”

22. “Its your baby now”

23. “That’s not how we did it at my old job”

24. “Thats not how we do it around here”

25. “Don’t expect me to bail you out”

26. “There are several unemployed people waiting for your job”

27. “I’m not here to be nice to people”

28. “I’m not paid to think”

29. “Why do I get the all the dirty work”

30. “You do know I can get a college intern to do your job for free”

31. “Sorry…I can’t. That wasn’t in my job description”

32. “We don’t look for creativity in our employees”

33. “I am busy”

34. “I can only do this job”

35. “Your procrastination is not my emergency”

36. “No one listens to me”

37. “I didn’t sign up for this $#% !”

38. “You’re all alone on this one”

39. “What the customer doesn’t know won’t hurt them”

40. “She/he just got the job because they are (fill in the blank) with the boss”

41. “I don’t know” (with no follow up)

42. Hold that thought, I will get back to you” (NOT)

43. “Yes” to everything …. and then not delivering

44. “Why me?”

45. “I don’t work for you I work for the organization”

46. “We already tried that, and it doesn’t work”

47. “You’re wasting your time”

48. “Don’t worry. I will take care of it” (fail to follow through)

49. “I don’t have time to talk to you”

50. “Told you so”

What statement would you add to this list? Tell us in a comment below.

Learn how on-site training can help your team develop tactful communication skills

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.