Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub
There are myriad of ways to ring up the rumor bell humm its way to your bad repp at office. All of them have their roots in a conversational trap─when you accidentally say something that sounds fishy─and still have no idea that you did something wrong. For example, when you want to have an opinion on something from your co worker. Here’s how the conversation may look like -
You: Hey!! Whats Up (a short pause to make up your mind). Never mind.
Your Co-worker: What is it??
You: (in an attempt to clear up the confusion) Nothin! Just wanted an opinion about something that I have been thinking about lately. (now you having second thoughts if you should really ask for it.)
Your Co-worker: Ask for it then.
You: I was thinking of…(you end up saying something that you should have best kept to your friends outside work.)
There are many pitfalls to this conversation that begin by putting completely wrong words in that last sentence. And end up putting your mental peace, your friendships and in some cases even your job at risk. You may think that you are coming across the right way but people don’t see you the way you think they do.
There are many such conversational traps that you need to avoid. You cannot take care of all of them but there are a few very common ones that occur so often at work that it would be foolishness to fall just right into them. So here goes the list:
#1 Your Career Plans
Everyone has a plan A and many backup plans. Like talking to someone about a rival firm that you will be willing to switch over with your current company. Plans like these, which are in direct crosshairs with the benefit of your company, are best to be kept at length with colleagues. What if your boss gets to know about them? Ever thought about it?
It won’t be a fair risk to take as you don’t know what your boss wants. But now he knows exactly what you want. And situations like these will never end in a zero sum game.
#2 Your Criticism of The Company’s Goal and Vision
You never know who that loyal chipmunk of your boss may be. And accidently starting on a conversation that involves you criticising the company’s policies with him can be very bad thing to begin with.
It may all be accidental, but that’s the real danger. If it were conscious you could have done something about it. So it’s better never to speak of it.
#3 Your Entrepreneurial Aspirations
If you don’t want your boss to think that your current job is just a stepping stone for things to come in the future then it’s best to avoid any talks of bigger and better plans like starting your own something. You should, however, cloak your aspirations to achieve success as within the ranks of your current organization.
If you do something outside work then it’s best not to discuss it anywhere near work, even if it is a hobby. The implicit language that your actions speak can convey a wrong meaning, which you can avoid by being a little careful.
#4 Your Wish to Transfer to Another Department or To Get Promoted
If your boss is a strong leader he will champion your cause. If not, you will appear as a threat to him that needs to be taken care of immediately. Your intentions─which are professional─may not resonate with his─which may become personal.
You may never know how discussions like this will start affecting your promotion plans negatively. Intentions of rivalry or anything that implies rivalry, even subtly, is to be best kept at bay.
#5 Any Big Mistakes That You Committed On or Off Work
Don’t ever march on the road of philosophical wisdom that says you need to learn from mistakes. This is wrong. Never have a conversation that compels you to include phrases like─I was wrong back then, I corrected myself, I am on a road to recovery, I am better now─as these will surely be used by your colleagues in the most negative ways.
Sometimes it is good to come out in the open about things you have in mind but your timing should be appropriate. If you are new to a company or have plans to stay with your current employer then it’s better to take a precautionary measure than to watch your back all the time!!
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Vartika Kashyap currently runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.
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Originally published at HuffingtonPost
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