Seldom does an individual truly realize the power of their words. However, because words can have a positive or negative connotation, the words one uses can affect the tone of a statement.

While there are hundreds of articles analyzing the power of words within a relationship, there are very few that analyze how important one’s word choices are within the workplace.

Within her article “7 Common Phrases That Make You Look Bad at Work” Emily Moore provides the reader with common phrases that employees regularly use, and gives the reader an alternative phrase that may sound a little more appropriate within a job setting. Moore argues that by using these phrases, not only might one respect you more but you may be able to explain your thoughts with more clarity.

Do you think you could…

The first phrase Moore analyzes is “Do you think you could…” According to Moore this statement leaves the assignment open for interpretation. When asked in this manner it almost implies that the statement is not a necessity therefore one does not need to do it within the timeframe.

No big deal

Moore’s second phrase “No big deal” could possibly be the answer commonly given in response to her first phrase. However, the problem with this statement is that it gives one the impression that you are not busy, which could create issues if one is backlogged with work.


“Sorry” is Moore’s third word of angst. Moore argues that the word is overused, and if one were to replace the word sorry with “Thank You” it would probably even be more effective.


Moore also implores the audience to stop using the word “like” as a descriptive word within a conversation. Moore argues that it is juvenile and not effective.

Kind Of

She continues her attack on high school vernacular by ridiculing the phrase “Kind of,” arguing it’s not descriptive enough and also does not exude confidence.


Moore advises the reader to not use the term “actually”. She argues that if one uses this word prior to correcting a co worker it can come off as snarky and even condescending.

I just threw this together

Lastly, Moore advises her audience to stay away from the phrase “I just threw this together.” Moore argues that this is another phrase that makes the individual seem less confident, and may work to the detriment of an individual trying to establish oneself in the workplace.

Do you have phrases that have been helpful to you at work? Let us know.

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