Meetings are the bane of a lot of employees everywhere, but that is usually because they take up way more time and energy than they really should. If scheduled and carried out well, meetings can actually greatly improve your company’s workflow, because you can decide on a lot of important decisions and prevent people from working on anything that will turn out to be useless in the end. However, as much as you may want to look like the smartest person in the room, there are a few things that you should never, ever say out loud during a business conference, or else you may risk looking like the biggest jerk in the company. In this article, we will discuss five things that you should never say any time you have to attend a group conversation with your co-workers and—Heaven forbid—your bosses.
1. “That is a horrible idea.”
While not all ideas may be good ideas, and you may be end up being seen by your co-workers as a Naysayer, according to an article by Hannah Morgan for the site Career Sherpa. Though you can watch out for ideas that don’t seem like they may go anywhere, it’s best to encourage people to think freely so that you can catch onto any thoughts that may seem strange at first, but may actually be the answer you’re looking for.
This statement makes you seem like a control freak who will never, ever relinquish his or her task to anybody else, much less their project. You have to remember, though, that everything is a team effort, so you must never try to use your authority to overrule anybody else just because you have a personal vendetta against them.
3. “Did you not you read my e-mail earlier?”
Even if you both agreed to schedule and attend an online video communications using a platform such as BlueJeans, you should always give your conversation partner some time to prepare for it. In case you have to show them some information through e-mail, but you did not receive any confirmation that they received it, do not be afraid to send them a follow-up e-mail just to ask if they did get what you sent them. Odds are, your e-mail must have gotten lost in a sea of other more urgent messages that they needed to settle. By acting as if they should have prioritized your message first, you run the risk of trying to sound more important than you really are in the company.
4. “I think we need to look for an actual professional.”
This is a very easy way to make your co-workers or boss feel like you do not believe in their own skills or experience. You should never go into a meeting just to make the people in it feel as if they are no good at their own jobs. Instead, allow everybody who has even a bit of background in the subject or has responsibility over the task to give their feedback, and then let everybody else weigh in on the matter. Do not be the person who thinks they can decide to call in outside help—let the experts in your company decide if that is crucial to moving forward.
5. “That is not really important.”
To say that somebody else’s concern is not as important is to be incredibly dismissive about their needs. You have to remember that just because it may not be your specific priority, or the priority of your own team, does not mean that it may not be important to another team on your company. Plus, you might end up being perceived as trying to take control of the entire meeting. According to an article by Jessica Kleiman for the website Forbes, this might also make people perceive you to be a Monopolizer. This is a person who does not know when to stop talking during any discussion, and keeps butting in whenever it is somebody else’s turn to speak.
You know what they always say: if you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all. You might think that some of your comments are useful feedback, but more often than not, you might just be spouting words that will not really contribute to the growth of any person or project in the end. Before you open your mouth, make sure that you have thought all of your options through before letting the sentence escape from your lips. If you do not take care in this regard, you might end up being the target of a lot of hate in your office, all because you were so careless as to say something that did not need to be said at all.