Tag Archives: positive change

6 Things You Should Never Say at Work


A thoughtless response or wrong word can ruin your reputation for an indefinite amount of time, especially at work. It’s today’s norm that we often spend more time at work than anywhere else. Perhaps that’s why so many get a little too casual and let their guards down. Therefore, to avoid any major pit falls, take my advice and don’t say any of these six phrases…

“I may be wrong but…” Always speak with certainty and conviction! Stop discounting your credibility and value infront of others.

“That’s not my job”  Even if it isn’t, saying this suggests you either don’t care or flat out aren’t willing to help. It’s okay if you have a full workload, hence you cannot take on anything else, but always explain that and be careful how you relay that information to those around you—it may be you asking for a favor next week.

“Let’s be honest” this always makes someones heart sink, as it suggests that you know you’re about to be rude, but you don’t care.

“You look tired” trust me- unless you are very well acquainted with a person, this phrase should not be tossed around lightly. Perhaps they are under a lot of stress, didn’t put make up on today, they miscarried last night, they are sick… The list goes on. It’s likely that if all you have to tell someone is that they “look tired“, you don’t know what’s going on in their life to give them the haggard look, and should definitely keep that comment to yourself.

“I don’t mean to offend you but” Another heart breaker. Typically if you say this to a colleague it means ‘wow what a ridiculous/obviously stupid decision and my next comment is about to really embarrass you‘. If this phrase parts your lips often, try something softer like “great attempt, I appreciate your time, however could I please suggest something to you?”

“Did you hear about what so and so did last night?” Keep the party stories to yourself. Don’t be a gossip, nor risk looking like someone who is neither trustworthy or kind.

If your lips should keep from slips,
Five things observe with care:
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.

Any other tips of what not to say at work? Comment below!



How Do You Deal with Frustration?

“The problem is that frustration is a gateway to both productive and destructive action. If channelled correctly, frustration can help you overcome obstacles and initiate positive change. If channelled incorrectly, it can spur recklessness and resentment.” Isaiah Hankel PH.D.

Once upon a time, the game ‘Frustration!’ invited feelings of excitement and fun. I looked forward to racing around the board and getting all my pieces  to the dice in the middle.  Unlike this favourite childhood board game of mine, today I treat real frustration very differently.

Lately I’ve found myself annoyed, angry or disappointed with some things at work.  Although negative, it seems that I can be somewhat addicted to this cycle of emotions. Some call it a love for drama, or company politics, either way I seem to be drawn to it, or it to me (especially during my recent turmoil of applying for a new position within the company).

In time, as I have become more aware of this tendency, I have realized that the consequences are destructive. There have been moments that I am unable to focus on important tasks because I have allowed myself to wallow in frustration, anger or pity. My productivity diminishes, which leads to increased frustration interwoven with a twinge of revenge; all of which escalates until I mentally and/or emotionally take charge of my psyche to break the cycle.

“Revenge is never a straight line. It’s a forest, And like a forest it’s easy to lose your way… To get lost… To forget where you came in.”  Hattori Hanzo (Played by Shin’ichi Chiba in Kill Bill: Vol. 1)

So What Do We Do About It?

Get better, not bitterFrustration can really be a catalyst for 
productive action if channelled in the right way. I’ve learned that transforming frustration into problem solving motivation not only builds happiness, but improves leadership qualities.

Maybe there are some lessons we can learn from my other favourite childhood games to help deal with frustration.

Connect 4

Great Connect 4 players have a pattern or a well thought out strategy to win. This usually involves understanding your opponents strategy and making the first move. With this in place the worst outcome is a tie. So, how can this help us deal with frustration? Understand both opponents, especially yourself. Know what triggers your frustration, and come prepared to win. Make a plan of how you will block some of these early cues that will start the frustration spiral and block them with more positive things. Doing so will create a habit of avoiding frustration in the first place. Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit describes the technical definition of a habit as:

“…the choices that all of us deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day.”

Commit in this moment to align your words with your actions and apply positive change to your life. It will be hard and take time, but luckily you know yourself better than anyone! You know your triggers and are therefore qualified to succeed- and you will.


Like many games of this nature it is frustrating when you cannot see what you did to set off the buzzer and flashing red nose. Carefully navigating and understnding any situation always improves patience and control. As Marcus Aurelius said

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

The power is within us to change how we allow our frustrations to wear us down. We need to channel our emotions correctly so that the negativity spurs us to get better (not bitter!). Or in the words of Napoleon Hill:

“If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.”

How do you deal with frustration? Any thoughts or advice?