Watch Your Language


by Tammy Harvey

over 1 year ago


According to this title, you may be thinking that you already know what I’m talking about. Don’t swear in the business world when conversing with potential clients or employers, right? Well…yes, that is something you absolutely need to be wary of. However, that’s not the type of language I’m talking about today.

When I say to watch your language, I’m actually referring to the words you might use daily. Words that you may think are ‘friendly and amenable’. Phrases you might use among your friends and family, but can just be inappropriate in a business environment.

As a person new to the world of business, I find that a lot of more experienced people like to call me ‘darling’ or ‘sweetheart’. Whilst their intentions are to be friendly and approachable, it may be construed as condescending in a business relationship. I have also heard people use these types of words deliberately, as a means to ‘talk down’ to others and I’ve also heard people use the word darling in almost every second sentence. Surely it’s not appropriate to be calling your Boss darling, and yes, I’ve heard of that happening too, and it didn’t end so well.

If you want to call your friends buddy, that’s fine. Call them mate by all means, because they are your actual mates. It’s probably not a great idea to use those words with your recruiter or someone with whom you are conducting business. It can be construed as unprofessional, and too familiar and perhaps a little condescending. Your Boss isn’t your mate, they are your Boss. Sure you might have a positive relationship with them, but they are still your Boss. Keep it professional.

It’s important to note here, that depending on the industry you work in and your circumstances, this may differ slightly. However, this blog has been written with respect to the industry within which I work.

Communication is important. Our body language and the words we use, all influence how we present to the world and reflect a little bit of who we are (or seem to be). Choose wisely according to the situation that you are in and be self-aware.

Watch your language! 

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