Co-workers talking
Have you ever considered the importance of the language you use in the workplace? The way you talk says a lot about you and your level of professionalism. Everything from the words you use to the topics you talk about leads people to form an opinion about you. Remember, once you say something, it’s impossible to take those words back and undo what you said. That’s why it’s so important to watch what you say in the workplace. You never know who is listening and how they might react to what you say.

Language is an important aspect of communication, whether you’re talking with a coworker or to a customer. Practice using language that is appropriate for the workplace in your everyday conversations so that you get into the habit of sounding professional.

Here are five tips to help you use language that is appropriate for the workplace:

  1. Avoid Foul Language
  2. Expand Your Vocabulary
  3. Avoid Gossip
  4. Keep it Positive
  5. Leave Your Personal Life at Home

Let’s take a closer look at what it means to use language that is appropriate for the workplace.

Avoid foul language

Foul language does not belong in the workplace. Curse words are nothing but filler words that bring no value to a conversation. Since everyone has a different level of sensitivity to foul language, it’s best to always use caution when choosing your words. You never know who might hear you or who you may offend. If you ever find yourself wondering whether or not a word is appropriate for the workplace, it’s probably best to avoid using it.

Expand your vocabulary

Sounding professional also means sounding smart. In order to speak professionally, always use correct grammar and work on improving your vocabulary. Make an effort to learn new words and practice using them in order to get a better understanding of their meaning. Learn and understand the buzz words, or words that are important in your industry. Use these buzzwords in conversations with your coworkers, supervisor and customers when it is appropriate.

Avoid gossip

Gossip is having a conversation about people behind their backs, often without knowing whether what you’re saying is true or not. Gossip is typically negative in nature and is not only unprofessional in the workplace, but it’s also disrespectful to the person about whom you are talking. When you gossip about people, you fail to give them a chance to defend themselves or correct you if you are saying something that isn’t true.

In the workplace, there will always be people who think it’s okay to gossip. It’s up to you to make a decision not to join them in this type of unprofessional behavior. When you find yourself in a conversation where someone is gossiping, either walk away or politely suggest that they change the subject.

Keep it positive

Did you know that your behavior is determined by your thoughts and your words? For example, if you say, “I can’t do that” you will truly believe that you can’t do it, and sure enough, you won’t be able to do it. On the other hand, if you make positive statements, they will eventually affect your thoughts. Your positive thoughts will affect your feelings, which will have a positive effect on your behaviors. This cycle shows you how positive statements can improve your attitude and your performance at work.

Not only will positive statements improve your performance, but if you are known for being positive, people will enjoy being around you. Think about it, do you like spending time with people who are negative? Probably not. Make an effort to stay positive in order to set a good example and encourage others to do the same.

Leave your personal life at home.

Everyone has things that happen to them outside of work. These events make up your personal life. While it’s important to have a personal life outside of work, it’s also important that you keep your personal life separate from your professional life. It’s okay to talk about your personal life at work sometimes, but try not to let it get in the way of your work.