1. “With all due respect” – this usually means with no respect.
2.“ I can’t believe it (whatever the task was) wasn’t done either.” when “it” is something that is in your area of responsibility. Most likely, you should have done it or made sure it was done.
3.“That’s not my job” This phrase should only be used when a person actually does not possess the skill set required to perform a certain task and it is, in fact, clearly not their job. And even then, this phrase should be used sparingly.
4.“I don’t know” Reserve this for a time when you absolutely have no way of knowing something. Never use it when there is a chance that you should know the answer or can look it up. A better phrase to consider is “ Let me find out”.
5. “It fell through the cracks” What does this mean exactly? Which crack did it fall though and how do we know it won’t happen again?
6. “Are you sick? You look so tired” Studies have shown that saying this to someone reduces their productivity for the day because even if they don’t feel ill, they feel “off” because someone made the comment that they don’t look well.
7. “I’ve got your back” Why would anyone ever need to say this in an office environment? This makes people wonder what must be happening behind their back that would cause a co-worker to have to “ have their back”.
8. “This is how we did things in my last company” This statement is never really welcome unless it is going to provide information that will generate a significant boost in revenue and productivity. And in that situation, it should only be said to the company’s owner and never by a new boss to the staff. No matter how valuable the information is when the sentence leads off with “ This is how we did it….” People naturally tune out.
9. “That’s not fair” Work and life are not always fair.
10. “I’m bored” This is never music to a supervisors ears; it usually is interpreted to mean that there is a profound lack of creativity and initiative. It makes the person a walking target to be laid off when it’s time to cut costs in the company.