Is This Word Sabotaging Your Success?

Sophie Miura
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Courtesy of StyleCaster

We're sorry to say it, but there's one word you use every day that's sabotaging your career: sorry. The apology has crept into our office vocabulary, and according to Money's Cassidy Rush, it could be your undoing. "Sorry" has become our default response. If we forget to send an email, are running late, or even get served the wrong dish at a restaurant, we say sorry. While you might think you're being polite, using this word in the workplace could make you seem less confident and assertive. Read on for three ways to rephrase your apology to sound more honest, articulate, and professional. 

When You're Running Late

If you've ever burst into a meeting and apologized for always being late, it's time to change your language. "That makes being late sound like a habit, and it could make your co-workers feel like that is acceptable to you," says Cassidy Rush. Instead, flip the situation so you approach it with positive words. "Start out with thanking your meeting-goers for their patience while you were running late. Acknowledging that they were waiting for you will ease the tension and allow you to move on to the business at hand."

When You Ramble to a Co-Worker

Sometimes we just need to unload our problems and talk to a person about what's going on in our lives, and often, that person is a colleague. If you realize you've been rambling and having a one-way conversation, don't apologize. Instead, tell your colleague that you're grateful they listen to you and use the opportunity to show you appreciate them. "Not only is it the polite thing to do, it makes your co-worker feel like you trust them to hear your struggles and hardships," says Rush.

When You Make a Mistake

Making the odd mistake at work is inevitable, but the way you bounce back from it is what counts. Reacting to a setback shows your co-workers and boss how you deal with criticism and challenges. If you make a mistake, admit that you realize your wrongdoing with out the S-word. For example, Yes, I can understand where you're coming from. Thank you for bringing this to my attention; I'll make sure I take that into consideration in future. By focusing on what you've learnt from the error, rather than the mistake itself, you show that you will use their feedback constructively. Using language that focuses on the future also encourages colleagues not to dwell, and move past the problem. 

To read more about how to stop saying sorry at work, visit Money

Are you subtly sabotaging your own career? Shop the book below for more advice on how to get ahead.

Have you ever tried to stop saying sorry? Tell us how it went in the comments below. 

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