I’m beginning a category in my bog on Career and Work Tips to inform and educate on some of the important ways we should carry ourselves in the professional world. I will be sharing about interview tips and how to deal with different scenarios at work.

  • Never say I don’t know.

When somebody asks you a question and you don’t know the answer. Never say I don’t know. Instead, tell the person that you aren’t sure but you could find out or simply say ‘let me find out for you’. ‘Let me come back to you on that’ is another professional way of responding to such a question. This shows that you are interested and would like to assist and that you are taking your work seriously. You create a good impression about yourself to others. People begin to take you seriously and are assured of getting help from you whenever they are in need.  When you say’ I don’t know’, someone may wonder then what next or so?

  • I’ll try to finish it or I’ll try my best

Your manager, boss or any of your colleagues asks if you can do something by a specific time. For example, “I need this by 2.00pm for my presentation at the board meeting. Do you think it will be ready? “

Then you answer, “l will try to finish it or I’ll do my best”. This gives the impression that you are not sure about the time you will complete the task and you are putting your boss in a difficult situation. Your boss may stop trusting you with any serious tasks from then henceforth and ay not consider you for any senior roles or promotion opportunities that may arise.

The best way to answer this question is “I can get it done by 1.00pm. This is a certain and convincing answer.

You might not be able to complete the task by 2.00pm which is the scheduled meeting time. I this case, what do you do? Be honest with them. Don’t say you’ll see or try. Make a commitment. The right response to give is,” I don’t think I can get it done by 2.00 p.m. but I can manage by 3.00 p.m. Would that be okay?”

  • Don’t say ‘Yes’ or ‘Ok’ when your boss is Upset

Your boss may be angry because of something you didn’t do, something you didn’t do right or because you’ve shown up late to work. You shouldn’t freak out because it’s part of working life. Instead, you should let him or her or know that you do understand and you can make the situation better.

For example, “I do understand.” or I underrated, let’s see what we can see.”

  • Things are a little crazy, we have lots of enquiries coming

You are keeping someone waiting at work It may be a customer. Don’t tell the person that things are a little crazy, we have lots of enquiries coming. This is rude. Instead let the customer know that you’ll be with them in a moment. Or simply say “sorry to keep you waiting, I’ll be right there.”

  • ‘What?’

When someone asks you a question but you didn’t hear them well, don’t answer ‘what’. Never say what.

Instead respond like this, “I’m sorry, I missed that.”

“Could you say that again please.”

“Would you mind repeating that for me? I missed it.”

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