The old phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” is especially true at work. Certain everyday phrases could send our boss the message that we’re lazy and unreliable. Here are three comments the experts recommend we stop saying: 

  • #1: “I’ll try.” Darlene Price is the author of Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results. And she says the word “try” suggests a lack of commitment. Instead, use the word “will.” That shows the boss you’re confident you can get the job done, you’re not just trying to get it done. 

  • Another comment to avoid at work: Saying, “No problem” instead of “You’re welcome.” Psychotherapist Dr. Linnda Durré says that saying “No problem” implies that future requests might be a problem! You might find the next task you’re given inconvenient and unwelcome. But saying “You’re welcome” sends the message that you enjoyed helping, and implies that you’ll be glad to pitch in next time. 

  • Finally: Never tell your boss, “I’m too busy.” Bill Lampton wrote The Complete Communicator.  And he says it’s easy to say “I’m too busy” when you’re asked to pitch in and take on extra work. But if you say that, you’ll look like you’re not a team player. Instead, you’re better off saying something like, “I’m happy to help. Would you like me to get started now, or finish what I’m doing first?” That way, they know you want to help but you have other things on your plate.