All Women's Talk

10 Things Never to Say to Your Co-workers ...

By Neecey

Among the rules of office etiquette there are things never to say to your co-workers. Many of us fall foul to office politics whatever our career path, and knowing what not to say to your co-workers can certainly avoid some of the common issues. Getting on with your colleagues makes for a happier time all round, so check out these things never to say to your co-workers.

1 Dissing the Boss

Some of the most important things never to say to your co-workers are comments about your boss – even if everyone else is having a bitching session. This can inevitably come back to bite you as you will become known as a gossiper and someone not to be trusted by colleagues and management alike – word will get out sooner or later regarding your resentment of the manager.

2 A Question of Age

Some people can be touchy about their age so it’s a subject best avoided unless it is initiated by someone else. “You’re how old?” is definitely not a reaction suitable for a co-worker who looks much younger or older than you think them to be. This shows disrespect and impudence on your part .

3 Late Night Bash

Don’t get a reputation of being a continual bleary eyed late night party animal. It may sound great to boast about it at the time but you may soon find your reliability and authority in question.

4 Bun in the Oven?

If you notice a co-worker looking pregnant, don’t ask "Are you pregnant?" How would you feel if someone asked the same question but in fact you had gained a few extra pounds? There may be some good reason why the office has not yet been informed of a possible pregnancy and therefore this should be something you should not ask your co-workers.

5 Money Owing for Boss’s Gift

To be asked to hand over money for a gift for the boss can cause resentment and is usually organised by those who work more closely with the boss but expects everybody else to chip in. Don’t feel obliged as office protocol dictates that workplace gifts should not go upwards to senior level but downwards. Telling a colleague, “You owe $10 for a gift for the boss” is definitely something you shouldn’t say.

6 Skinny or Fatty

It’s not in order for you to comment on co-workers’ sizes by asking direct questions such as "Goodness, aren’t you eating? – you’re so thin!" or "You’ve put on a bit of weight, haven’t you?" Your colleague may be going through a health issue and receiving comments like these may knock her confidence.

7 Rumor-mongering

Spreading rumors and gossiping in the office – "Do you know what I heard last night...?’ is an absolute ‘no-go’ area and not to be shared with colleagues. As with ‘talking behind the manager’s back,’ you will soon be labeled as indiscreet and untrustworthy as a co-worker. The news may sound so juicy you can’t wait to spread it around but these indiscretions would be something never to relay to your co-workers.

8 Not at All Helpful

Something you should not say to your co-workers is complaining about being required to do additional work not in the job description. Workers are sometimes required to do extra jobs to assist, and therefore complaining unnecessarily will create a reputation of unhelpfulness and gain you a reputation as not being a team player. This will be noted by senior colleagues and bang goes any hope of a promotion and a glowing reference.

9 Be on Top

Never say things like “Don’t ask me – I never got told anything.” Don’t complain that no information was forthcoming, and never use it as an excuse that you can’t help. Take control of the situation and find out exactly what it is you need to learn so as to enable your work to be completed – this will show ambition and integrity on your part.

10 All Dressed up

Seeing a colleague dressed up should not be an invitation to wittily ask about going for a job interview. This may put the colleague in an awkward position if an interview has actually been lined up. Be discreet!

Office politics can be a tricky furrow to plow, but if you avoid the things never to say to your co-workers, you’ll find working life a lot easier and more enjoyable. Have you ever committed an office faux-pas?

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