Effective Communication
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Effective Communication: 5 Things Professionals Should Never Say in a Work Environment

Effective communication in the workplace provides a purpose, builds positive company culture and creates accountability.

Poor communication, on the other hand, can result in friction, confusion and an agitated environment where people are not motivated to be productive.

In addition, constructive dialogue in a work environment is what differentiates a professional from an amateur.

Below are five phrases professionals should never say at work:

Do not say, “I don’t know

How to Respond to customers' questions at work

When clients or coworkers ask you questions at work, it is because they want to clarify some issues. As a professional, whether you know the answers or not, do not say “I don’t know.”

It is important to be truthful, but saying, “I don’t know” may sound unprofessional and rude. This can be interpreted to mean that you do not care.

In order to sound more professional and show that you genuinely care, you should say “I’m not sure, but I can find out.”

For example, if a customer asks if you know how he/she could navigate through a particular way, say “I am not sure, but I could find out for you.”

Do not say, “I Will Try


How to Respond to Customers' questions at work

Do not say “I will try” when a customer asks if you can get something done by a particular time because the statement makes you look or sound inefficient.

How then do you respond to a client who wants their job completed at a specific time when it’s not feasible?

For example, a client asked at 1 pm if you could get his/her clothes dry-cleaned before 5 pm.

Instead of saying ‘I will try’, say “I don’t think I can manage it by 5 pm, but I will have it done by 8 pm, or “will first thing tomorrow morning be okay?”

Do not say, “Okay/Yes

How to Respond to Clients at work

Often, people mutter ‘okay’ as a way of taking responsibility for wrong-doings that is not their fault.

However, if a superior or customer makes a complaint at work, it is unprofessional to say “Okay or Yes” without suggesting a clear solution to resolve the issue.

Instead, you should say “I’m sorry, I will see to it”, or “I understand, let’s see what we can do about it.”

These two words can make everything a little better and clearer.

Do not say, “I am busy

How to respond to clients at work

If you work as a Clients Relations Officer at a manufacturing firm, you are always going to be busy attending to customers at different times.

What then happens when you are attending to a customer and keep others waiting? 

Or what if you need further clarification from your boss for a particular product while the customer is kept waiting and another customer asks you a question.

Whatever the case may be, it is improper and rude to say to another customer – ‘I am busy.” 

A professional should either say ‘I will be with you in a moment,” or “Sorry to keep you waiting, I will be right there with you in just a minute.”

These expressions will keep clients happy as they are interpreted to mean it won’t be long until you give them their full attention.

Do not say “What?

How to respond to clients at work

There are numerous ways to let people at work know that you don’t understand them. 

You can either politely ask them to repeat themselves a clearly or inform them know you could not discern what they said. Responding with a “WHAT’ is not only unprofessional but rude.

Instead, say “I am sorry, I missed that,” or “Sorry, would you mind repeating that? I missed it.” 

Conclusively, it is necessary to communicate appropriately to improve business relationships, morale and commitment.

Effective communication at the workplace is essential to a firm and employees’ growth and successes. 

It gives everyone the opportunity to share their inputs and feel that their ideas are valued.

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